EuroBiotech Report: Novo’s U.K. R&D investment, Arix files for $100M IPO, AstraZeneca-Brexit, sharks and Heptares


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in the United Kingdom, where Novo Nordisk’s decision to invest £115 million ($144 million) in a Type 2 diabetes drug discovery center at the University of Oxford delivered a boost to the government and its hopes to grow the life sciences sector post-Brexit. AstraZeneca’s management team became the latest Big Pharma execs to meet with the U.K. government this week, and emerged talking up the opportunities presented by Brexit. London’s Arix Bioscience could play a role, too. The investment group filed for a £100 million IPO intended to equip it to invest in up to 15 biotechs. Up in Cambridge, Heptares Therapeutics teamed up with the university to discover molecules that modulate a cardiovascular target. And on mainland Europe, Lundbeck struck a deal for shark antibody assets. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Novo Nordisk to set up £115M R&D center at Oxford University

Novo Nordisk has committed £115 million ($144 million) to set up a Type 2 diabetes drug discovery center at the University of Oxford. When operational, the research center will employ 100 Novo Nordisk researchers at a new facility on the campus of the university.

2. Arix files for £100M IPO to invest in early-stage biotechs

Arix Bioscience has filed to raise £100 million ($127 million) in an IPO to bankroll investments in 10 to 15 early-stage biotechs. The UCB-partnered investment group hopes to leverage the money, links to academic centers and accelerators around the world and the experience of a leadership team including Sir Chris Evans to build a portfolio of high-potential drug development startups.

3. Brexit ‘an opportunity,’ but EMA likely to leave London, says AstraZeneca

The executive team from AstraZeneca met this week with the U.K. government to discuss the country leaving the European Union, as its CEO says there are “opportunities” from the so-called Brexit vote as it appears “logical” for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to leave its current London home after the U.K. pulls out of the union.

4. Lundbeck inks deal for BBB-crossing shark antibody assets

Lundbeck has struck a deal with Ossianix to use shark-derived antibodies to hustle drugs across the blood-brain barrier. The deal, which builds on a two-year collaboration, gives Lundbeck a license to develop multiple CNS products based on the technology.

5. Heptares, Cambridge Uni team up to pursue CV target

Heptares Therapeutics has teamed up with the University of Cambridge to discover molecules that modulate a cardiovascular target. The project builds on work at Cambridge to understand the role apelin receptors play in cardiovascular conditions including ischemic heart disease and discover a selective antagonist of the target.

And more articles of note>>