EuroBiotech Report—Witty joins WHO project, Arix cuts, Galapagos, Leo and Novartis

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week at the World Health Organization, which turned to ex-GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty for help advancing a vaccine against COVID-19. Elsewhere, Arix Bioscience changed its leadership team as part of a push to extend its cash runway out beyond when its bets on biotechs may pay off. Galapagos entered into R&D collaboration with Poland's Ryvu. Leo Pharma licensed a midphase eczema drug for $40 million upfront. Novartis teamed up with cell therapy startup TScan Therapeutics. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. WHO tasks ex-GSK CEO Witty with hastening COVID-19 vaccine R&D

The World Health Organization (WHO) has tasked ex-GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty with helping accelerate development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Witty is taking a leave of absence from his job at UnitedHealth Group until around the end of the year to co-lead the WHO initiative.
2. Arix cuts costs, changes leadership team to hunker down

Arix Bioscience has overhauled its leadership to help it hunker down and survive the current turmoil. Naseem Amin, formerly of Biogen and Genzyme, is stepping up to the executive chairman position to lead the biotech investor through a potentially tricky period.
3. Galapagos teams up with Polish biotech Ryvu for early R&D collab

Galapagos will have an exclusive option to license IP developed by Ryvu and to continue to develop this during the collaboration. 
4. Leo Pharma pens Oneness Biotech, Microbio Shanghai pact for skin and asthma drug

Leo Pharma is paying $40 million upfront and $530 million in biobucks to license a midstage experimental eczema and asthma drug.
5. Novartis, TScan unite on TCR treatments for solid tumors

Last summer, Novartis pitched in to a $48 million venture round for a cell therapy startup called TScan Therapeutics. Now, the Swiss pharma is back for more.
And more articles of note>>