EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Adaptimmune ($ADAP) revealed that investigators have paused a trial of its NY-ESO TCR in patients with esophageal cancer following the death of a patient. The decision to pause the investigator-initiated trial was made after a patient died 46 days after receiving an infusion of T cells. In the closely watched world of immuno-oncology, such setbacks--which are part and parcel of running cancer trials--can cause consternation among investors, but Adaptimmune's stock was unaffected. The company's stock price rose more than 5% on the day the pipeline was updated to reflect the pause. Pipeline

> Shares in tiny Can-Fite BioPharma ($CANF) traded up 35% after the FDA put its liver cancer drug on its fast track. The designation covers the use of CF102 as a second-line treatment for the common liver cancer hepatocellular carcinoma. If Petah Tikva, Israel-based Can-Fite can negotiate its way through clinical trials--a 78-person Phase II trial is due to complete enrollment next year--CF102 will have a shot at becoming the drug of choice for patients for whom Bayer's Nexavar is ineffective. Release

> Acacia Pharma added to the momentum behind the London IPO market heading into the final few months of the year. The Cambridge, U.K.-based company is reportedly hoping to raise £150 million ($230 million), moving it into fundraising territory occupied by few other drug developers on either side of the Atlantic. Acacia, which lists Lundbeckfond Invest A/S and Novo A/S among its investors, will use the cash to bring its two lead products to market in the U.S. FierceBiotech | FT (sub. req.)

> Vaccibody AS started a Phase I/IIa trial of its treatment for human papillomavirus 16-induced lesions of the cervix. The first participant in the study has now been dosed with the vaccine, VB10.16, and will go on to receive two more shots. Vaccibody is trialling two dosing schedules in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 in the first part of the trial with a view to gathering data to show the therapeutic cancer vaccine safe and tolerable. Release

> Investors sent shares in GW Pharmaceuticals ($GWPH) up more than 5% following the release of data from a Phase IIa trial in 88 patients with schizophrenia. The proof-of-concept trial showed that cannabidiol statistically outperformed the placebo across a range of measures, including the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. GW Pharma was sufficiently encouraged by the data to start plotting a path forward for the program. "We believe that our future research in this area may lie within pediatric orphan neuropsychiatric indications and we intend to explore this as a focus for future trials," GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover said in a statement. FierceBiotech | More

> Actelion (VTX:ATLN) confirmed it is in talks to acquire ZS Pharma ($ZSPH). The dealmaking process reportedly got underway with a $2.5 billion (€2.2 billion) offer. For that, Actelion would gain the rights to a treatment for hyperkalemia that could win approval from the FDA next year and another card to play in its ongoing campaign to remain an independent company. "Strategically [ZS Pharma] with its wholly owned ZS-9 Phase III drug for hyperkalemia has some overlap with the cardiology component of [Actelion's] PAH franchise, in our view," Jefferies analyst Peter Welford wrote in a note to investors. "A cash deal is viable." FierceBiotech

> Lipid Therapeutics licensed the rights to an ulcerative colitis program outside of Europe and Australia to Nestlé Health Science. Heidelberg, Germany-based Lipid Therapeutics has netted an undisclosed upfront fee and a shot at milestones and royalties in exchange for the rights to LT-02, a barrier function treatment for mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. Having struck the deal, Nestlé plans to start a Phase III trial in the U.S. next year. Release

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