EuroBiotech Report—U.K. EMA hopes crushed, Roche phase 3 data, Circassia fails again and CRUK, NCI sign Ras deal


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. One week after European Union officials revealed the number of countries seeking to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a staffer from another department made it clear which nation isn’t in the running: The United Kingdom. The slapdown followed another attempt by a U.K. politician to present the location of the EMA as a subject for its exit negotiations with the EU. Roche posted an interim look at phase 3 results from its hemophilia A candidate emicizumab in kids. The Swiss Big Pharma talked up the data but presented minimal evidence to support its positivity. That was more than Circassia could manage. The British company pulled the plug on its allergy programs after another trial failed. Cancer Research UK teamed up with the National Cancer Institute to work on Ras inhibitors. And more. —Nick Taylor

1. EU crushes U.K. hopes of retaining EMA after Brexit

The European Commission has again sought to extinguish the United Kingdom’s lingering hopes of keeping the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in London after Brexit. Lead Brexiteer David Davis became the latest politician to claim London could retain the regulator earlier this week, only for a spokesperson for the commission to rubbish the idea.

2. Interim look at data shows Roche hemophilia A drug cuts bleeds

Roche has posted an interim look at a phase 3 trial assessing the prophylactic use of its hemophilia A candidate emicizumab in kids. The study linked the bispecific antibody to a clinically meaningful decline in the number of bleeds after 12 weeks and appears to be free of the safety concerns that have dogged other studies of the drug.

3. Circassia scraps allergy program after another trial flops

Circassia has pulled the plug on its allergy programs after falling short in another study. The string of failures continued with the publication of subpar data from a house dust mite allergy phase 2b, forcing the company to pivot away from the assets that drove it to a £200 million ($251 million) IPO in 2014.

4. CRUK, NCI fund Ras inhibitor tests, create commercial path 

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has teamed up with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to fund work on inhibitors of Ras proteins. The partners want to develop tests to analyze Ras inhibitors and have brought Sixth Element Capital-managed CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF) on board to push resulting assets into commercial development.

And more articles of note >>