AbbVie, J&J on board for Galapagos' IPO, Ablynx salvages Serono deal, Investment in Israel soars

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Galapagos ($GLPG) started the week by ratcheting up the expectations for its IPO once again and ended it by coming good on its dialed-up forecast. AbbVie ($ABBV) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) ordered one-fifth of the shares between them, setting the stage for a potential tug of war over Galapagos and its rheumatoid arthritis drug. Galapagos' fellow Belgian biotech Ablynx (EBR:ABLX) defied expectations by keeping Merck Serono signed up to their 2013 collaboration, but only after the scope of the alliance was slimmed down significantly. Bavarian Nordic (CPH:BAVA) secured a €50 million (€56 million) loan from the European Investment Bank, a European Union institution with a growing interest in bankrolling R&D. MorphoSys (ETR:MOR) returned to the first biotech in which it invested to scoop up the remaining 80% of the business and its preclinical fibrotic disease program. Israel posted record life science investment figures on the back of a surge in the flow of money from foreign organizations into the country. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Galapagos inflates IPO again as AbbVie, J&J jockey for position

Galapagos has ratcheted up its IPO expectations for the second time in a week. The latest maximum offering is just shy of $290 million (€258 million), one-fifth of which is expected to come from potential suitors AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.

2. Ablynx salvages Merck Serono alliance with slimmed-down deal

Ablynx has avoided the worst-case scenario for the collaboration with Merck Serono it entered into in 2013. The deal appeared dead in February but Ablynx has renegotiated the terms, keeping Serono tied into the development of two bispecific single-domain antibodies.

3. Surge in overseas investment drives Israel to life sci fundraising record

Israel has joined the list of countries that obliterated their life science fundraising records in 2014. Data from IVC Research Center show Israeli life science companies pulled in $801 million (€708 million) last year, a 55% jump on the previous high that was underpinned by foreign investors opening their checkbooks with unprecedented regularity.

4. EU's investment bank continues move into R&D financing with €50M Bavarian Nordic loan

Bavarian Nordic is the latest company to benefit from the European Investment Bank's newfound willingness to finance drug development, snagging access to up to €50 million ($56 million) in loans for its Ebola and immunotherapy programs.

5. MorphoSys swoops for Lanthio as biotech investment plan matures

MorphoSys has acquired Lanthio Pharma. The deal comes 30 months after MorphoSys originally hooked up with Lanthio, which was the first company to receive an investment from its biotech financing initiative.

And more articles of note >>

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