Merck KGaA hands off Alzheimer's portfolio to spin-out; Optimer sells stake in Taiwan affiliate for $60M;

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> Last week Merck KGaA announced its third biotech spinout from the ashes of its Swiss operation on Lake Geneva. Asceneuron will get a package of preclinical Alzheimer's drugs along with 5 million euros from Merck Serono. Merck Serono Ventures will manage the investment and will be represented on the company's board of directors. Release

> Optimer Pharmaceuticals is selling its remaining interest in Optimer Biotechnology, a Taiwan affiliate, for $60 million. Optimer plans to use the cash to back marketing efforts for Dificid. Story

> Lundbeck and ImaginAb in Los Angeles will collaborate on reengineered antibodies which can tackle the blood-brain barrier for CNS drugs. Release

> The Financial Times covers the scramble among biotechs in the U.K. to find venture backing. Story

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