EuroBiotech Report—UCB inks $2.5B deal; Oxford spinout; Bayer, Merck and Gilead

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with UCB, which struck a $2.5 billion (€2.2 billion) deal to acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals. The deal will move UCB onto Alexion’s turf. Elsewhere, MiroBio spun out of the University of Oxford with £27 million to fund autoimmune R&D. Bayer entered into a drug discovery pact with Riken Innovation. Merck began working with 4D pharma to develop bacterial strains as vaccines. Gilead Sciences filed for approval of its Galapagos-partnered JAK1 inhibitor in Japan. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. UCB strikes $2.5B to buy Ra for rival to Alexion's Soliris

UCB Pharma has struck a $2.5 billion (€2.2 billion) deal to acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals. The takeover will give UCB control of a phase 3 rival to Alexion’s Soliris that some analysts have tipped to rack up blockbuster sales.
2. Oxford spinout MiroBio bags £27M for autoimmune R&D

MiroBio has raised £27 million ($33 million) to fund research into immune cell regulation. The series A round will bankroll efforts to develop antibodies that treat autoimmune diseases by stimulating specific immune cell signals.
3. Bayer forms drug discovery pact with Japan's Riken Innovation

Bayer has entered into a drug discovery collaboration with Riken Innovation. The agreement will give Bayer the chance to explore drug targets based on research at a leading Japanese scientific research institute.
4. Merck taps 4D pharma for bacterial vaccine R&D project

Merck has teamed up with 4D pharma to develop bacterial strains as vaccines. The deal gives Merck the chance to pick up three candidates against undisclosed indications in return for an upfront fee and up to $347.5 million (€316.2 million) per project in milestones.
5. Chasing AbbVie, Gilead files for approval of filgotinib in Japan

Gilead Sciences has filed for approval of JAK1 inhibitor filgotinib in Japan. The submission moves Gilead a step closer to selling the Galapagos-partnered drug to rheumatoid arthritis patients in the country. 
And more articles of note>>    

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