Abivax files for IPO, Pluristem boards EMA fast-track, Ablynx inks Genzyme MS deal

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Abivax became the latest French biotech to file for an IPO in its home country, continuing the exchange's relatively quick-fire start to 2015. The Parisian biotech is seeking cash ahead of moving an HIV drug into two Phase IIb trials, as well as to support the clinical development of its lead candidate, a therapeutic vaccine against hepatitis B. A pair of European biotechs wrapped up financing initiatives this week too, with Sweden's BioInvent (STO:BINV) and and Israel's BiondVax ($BVXV) both adding around $9.5 million to their bank accounts. BiondVax's fellow Israeli biotech Pluristem Therapeutics ($PSTI) unveiled good news of its own. The cell therapy player secured a spot among the first batch of participants in the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) adaptive pathways pilot project, raising the possibility of an early approval. BioNTech followed up last week's immuno-oncology deal with Eli Lilly ($LLY) by inking another cancer alliance. Genmab (CPH:GEN) is the latest company to be attracted to the German biotech, paying $10 million upfront to embark on a joint R&D project. Ablynx (EBR:ABLX) granted Sanofi's ($SNY) Genzyme the exclusive right to run preclinical tests of its single-domain antibodies against a multiple sclerosis target. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Abivax files for IPO to finance trials of HepB vaccine, HIV antiviral

Abivax has filed the paperwork for an IPO in Paris. The listing is intended to give Abivax the cash to fund mid- to late-phase trials of its two lead candidates, a therapeutic vaccine against hepatitis B and a small-molecule inhibitor of HIV replication.

2. BioInvent, BiondVax pocket $9.5M each in separate stock sales

BioInvent (STO:BINV) and BiondVax Pharmaceuticals ($BVXV) have wrapped up their respective fundraising initiatives. Sweden's BioInvent pulled in $9.5 million to fuel the advance of its oncology pipeline, while Israel's BiondVax bagged a similar amount to continue work on its universal flu vaccine.

3. Pluristem snags spot on EMA's nascent fast-track scheme

Pluristem Therapeutics ($PSTI) has bagged itself a spot on the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) adaptive pathways pilot project. The EMA's decision gives Pluristem a shot at slashing the time it takes to bring its PLX cell program in critical limb ischemia (CLI) to market in a subpopulation.

4. BioNTech strikes back-to-back immuno-oncology deals with Lilly and Genmab

BioNTech has snagged a small upfront fee to enter into an immuno-oncology co-development pact with Genmab (CPH:GEN). The deal was unveiled one week after Eli Lilly ($LLY) invested $30 million (€27 million) in BioNTech as part of an immuno-oncology deal worth a potential $300 million per asset.

5. Ablynx adds Genzyme to roster of big-name collaborators

Ablynx (EBR:ABLX) has entered into a collaboration with Sanofi's ($SNY) Genzyme to investigate the use of its single-domain antibodies against a target involved with multiple sclerosis. The deal gives Genzyme the exclusive right to test the antibodies in models relevant to multiple sclerosis. 

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