EuroBiotech Report—Sanofi pays to scrap deal, BioNTech IPO, GSK takeover, Roche and 4BIO

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Sanofi, which finally extracted itself from its deal with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals—for a price. Sanofi is set to pay $260 million to terminate a contract covering dual SGLT1-SGLT2 inhibitor Zynquista. Elsewhere, BioNTech filed to raise $100 million in an IPO shortly after an investor went back on a commitment to give it $88 million. GlaxoSmithKline struck a deal to buy a celiac disease startup it founded with Avalon Ventures. Roche posted phase 3 data on its candidate for the competitive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder market. 4BIO Capital raised $50 million to back advanced therapy startups with ambitions to break out of super-rare diseases. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Sanofi to pay $260M to exit Lexicon diabetes pact
Sanofi is set to pay Lexicon Pharmaceuticals $260 million (€236 million) to get out of a diabetes pact. The dissolution of the alliance follows the generation of mixed clinical data on Zynquista in Type 1 diabetics that failed to persuade the FDA to approve the dual SGLT1-SGLT2 inhibitor.

2. BioNTech files for IPO after investor reneges on $88M promise

BioNTech has filed to raise $100 million (€90 million) in a Nasdaq IPO. The proposal, which comes shortly after a $325 million series B, would set BioNTech up to run clinical trials of three mRNA assets while funding its share of collaborations with Genentech, Sanofi and Genmab.
3. GSK buys celiac startup Sitari 6 years after founding it with Avalon

GlaxoSmithKline has struck a deal to buy Sitari Pharmaceuticals, the first company created through its collaboration with Avalon Ventures.
4. Roche's satralizumab cuts relapse risk in rare disease phase 3

Roche has presented phase 3 data on its neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder treatment satralizumab. The trial linked the anti-IL-6 antibody to a 55% reduction in the risk of relapse, showing the drug works but leaving scope to question how it will fare against rival drugs.  
5. 4BIO raises VC fund to take cell and gene therapies mainstream

4BIO Capital has raised $50 million (€45 million) to invest in advanced therapy startups. The specialist venture capital player plans to pump the money, plus another $100 million it hopes to add by the final close, into companies that are working to extend use of advanced therapies to major diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
And more articles of note>>