EuroBiotech Report: UniQure, Gilead-Galapagos, Immunic, Alcobra and Mologen


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with the latest twist at uniQure, which revealed that Daniel Soland has quit as CEO 9 months after taking the job. UniQure has opted against starting the search for a full-time CEO. The sharp exit means uniQure has been through 6 CEOs--four permanent, two temporary--over the period the exec in our next story has held the reins. Onno van de Stolpe has served as CEO of Galapagos for almost as long as uniQure and its predecessor have existed. And with van de Stolpe confirming that Gilead cannot currently buy his company, the CEO looks set to hold on to the position for a while longer yet. In Germany, Immunic raised €17.5 million ($19.6 million) in a Series A and Mologen set out to raise €16 million. The FDA placed a clinical hold on Alcobra’s Phase III ADHD trial. And more. Nick Taylor

1. UniQure CEO quits after 9 months in the job

Daniel Soland has quit as CEO of uniQure ($QURE) 9 months after taking the job. Soland said the decision “was solely due to personal family reasons,” but the upshot for uniQure is more disruption at the top of its leadership at a time when it is struggling to make a case for its pipeline of gene therapies.

2. Galapagos CEO confirms Gilead standstill agreement is active, quashing takeover talk

Galapagos ($GLPG) CEO Onno van de Stolpe has confirmed that the standstill agreement stopping Gilead ($GILD) from increasing its stake in his company is still active. The revelation quashes talk that Gilead will buy Galapagos for now, but, with Van de Stolpe declining to say when the agreement ends, falls short of extinguishing longer term M&A expectations.

3. Immunic wraps up €17.5M Series A, buys immunology programs from 4SC

LSP and LifeCare Partners have co-led a €17.5 million ($19.6 million) Series A investment in Immunic, a 5-month-old immunology biotech. The cash has enabled Immunic to buy cytokine inhibitor and Crohn’s disease programs from 4SC (FRA:VSC), kick-starting its push to develop into a clinical-stage biotech.

4. Mologen files to raise €16M to extend runway past TLR9 agonist clinical trial readouts

Mologen (ETR:MGN) is seeking to raise €16 million ($18 million) through an issue of new shares and a convertible bond. The biotech plans to use the money to carry out its recently revamped strategy, the centerpiece of which is a suite of trials of its TLR9 agonist in patients with colorectal cancer, small cell lung cancer and HIV.

5. FDA full clinical hold throws another wrench into Alcobra’s stuttering R&D machine

The FDA has delivered a blow to Alcobra’s ($ADHD) faltering attempts to bring MDX to market. The latest setback sees the regulator put a full clinical hold on a Phase III trial of MDX in adult patients with ADHD, putting another barrier between Alcobra and its long-sought approval of the drug.

And more articles of note>>