EuroBiotech Report—£2.5B U.K. fund, Alzheimer's failure, Alexion-Complement, Targovax tumbles and Ipsen moves

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. The U.K. has come good on its promise to better support growing biotechs by creating a £2.5 billion ($3.6 billion) fund. The vehicle is intended to bridge the gap between British biotech startups and giants such as AstraZeneca, which was also in the news this week. The Big Pharma reported its Eli Lilly-partnered Alzheimer's drug failed to improve outcomes in phase 3. Elsewhere, Dutch biotech Complement Pharma struck a deal with Alexion. Targovax tumbled after rethinking its pancreatic cancer plans. Ipsen chose Kendall Square as its new U.S. base. And more. Nick Taylor  

1. U.K. creates £2.5B investment program to help startups grow

The United Kingdom has set up a £2.5 billion ($3.6 billion) patient capital program. The fund is part of an initiative to help British biotechs grow into standalone midsized businesses, rather than sell up at the first sign of a takeover bid from overseas.


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2. Lilly, AstraZeneca halt phase 3 Alzheimer’s trials for futility, further denting BACE prospects

Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca have pulled the plug on two phase 3 trials of BACE inhibitor lanabecestat in Alzheimer’s disease. The partners stopped the studies after an independent interim analysis deemed they were destined to fail.

3. Alexion snags option to buy neurodegeneration startup Complement

Alexion has secured the option to acquire Dutch biotech Complement Pharma. The agreement will see Alexion work with Complement to take a C6 complement inhibitor through phase 1b and decide whether to pull the trigger on a takeover along the way.

4. Targovax tumbles after chemotherapy cocktail data dent pancreatic cancer plans

Targovax has hit pause on its neoantigen vaccine R&D strategy after seeing independent data that will redefine the standard of care in resected pancreatic cancer. The leap forward in the treatment of the disease forced Targovax to rethink its strategy and pull out of a planned phase 2 trial. 

5. Ipsen moves U.S. headquarters to Kendall Square

Ipsen is moving its U.S. headquarters to Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The French drugmaker is the latest in a series of European companies to pick the biotech hotspot as their U.S. base.

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