DBV files to raise $245M; Imperial Innovations lands £50M loan; Pfizer backs Autifony round

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. The heartland of the United Kingdom's biotech industry--the "golden triangle" of Cambridge, Oxford and London--found itself at the center of several of the top stories to emerge from Europe this week. Imperial Innovations (AIM:IVO) was involved with two of the deals, snagging a £50 million ($78 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and chipping in to an £8 million Series A extension at Autifony. Securing the loan facility brings the amount Imperial Innovations has tapped EIB for since July 2013 up to £80 million, a sum that is contributing to an acceleration of its investment plans. Autifony, a London-based company that spun out of GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in 2011, is among the beneficiaries of the ramped-up investment strategy. The Kv3 channel specialist's latest round saw Imperial Innovations join with Pfizer's ($PFE) VC wing and SV Life Sciences to finance the broadening of its R&D strategy into schizophrenia. Cambridge and £50 million feature again in our third "golden triangle" story. The city won the scrap to host the headquarters of the Precision Medicine Catapult, the U.K.'s £50 million bid to retool its clinical trial and commercialization pathways to meet the needs of the emerging class of targeted therapies. Over in mainland Europe, French allergy specialist DBV Technologies ($DBVT) filed to raise $245 million (€224 million) through a share offering on Nasdaq. And AC Immune picked up a milestone payment from Genentech after an asset from their anti-tau Alzheimer's collaboration was selected to advance into the clinic. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. DBV files to raise $245M to fuel race for peanut allergy market

DBV Technologies has filed for a $245 million (€224 million) share offering. Almost 40% of the mighty sum is earmarked for development of treatments for milk and peanut allergies, which the French biotech is trying to hustle to market ahead of its rivals' competitors.

2. EU bank funnels £50M into Imperial Innovations as investment plan accelerates

Imperial Innovations has returned to the European Investment Bank for cash, signing off on a £50 million ($78 million) loan just two years after it tapped the same source for £30 million. The need to double-dip in the EIB funding font arose after Imperial Innovations stepped up its rate of investment. 

3. Pfizer, SV give GSK spinout money to expand into schizophrenia research

Autifony Therapeutics has returned to Pfizer Venture Investments, SV Life Sciences and its other investors for £8 million ($12 million) to fund a broadening of its R&D ambitions. The company, which spun out of GlaxoSmithKline with an age-related hearing loss program in 2011, is now going after schizophrenia.

4. AC Immune snags milestone as Genentech picks Alzheimer's asset to advance to clinic

AC Immune has picked up a milestone payment in its CHF 400 million ($421 million) anti-tau collaboration with Genentech. The Roche subsidiary handed over the cash after selecting a tau-targeting antibody developed in the collaboration to advance toward the clinic.

5. U.K. puts Cambridge at the heart of £50M precision medicine program

The United Kingdom has put Cambridge at the heart of its £50 million ($78 million) push into precision medicines. Cambridge is to host the headquarters of the precision medicine network, from which a team will coordinate regional centers to support the advance of targeted therapies through the clinic and into real-world use.  

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