EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> The United Kingdom government released details of the Alzheimer's disease fund it began talking up last month. JPMorgan ($JPM) has helped the government to set up the fund, which will start life with $100 million (£68 million) to invest. Biogen Idec ($BIIB), Eli Lilly ($LLY), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Pfizer ($PFE) chipped in $78 million and the U.K. contributed the rest. FierceBiotech

> The University of Nottingham snagged a license to a trio of Open Monoclonal Technology human antibody-generation platforms. Academics at the university will use the platforms--OmniRat, OmniMouse and OmniFlic--to support their research into novel cancer antigens. "This … will put us at the forefront of monoclonal antibody development," the University of Nottingham's Dr. Lindy Durrant said in a statement. Release

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) backed out of its anti-inflammatory pact with Galapagos. The decision gives Galapagos full ownership of three clinical-phase candidates but leaves it without the support of a big-name partner. Over the past year, Galapagos has also had to contend with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) declining to advance a JAK1 inhibitor and J&J exiting an inflammatory bowel disease program. FierceBiotech

> The United Kingdom government outlined plans to create a fund to counter drug-resistant infections. But unlike the Big Pharma-backed dementia fund--and contrary to the wishes of a U.K. panel set up to review antimicrobial resistance--the focus of the £195 million ($287 million) initiative lies outside of drug discovery. For now, the fund will allocate cash to build laboratories, surveillance networks and response capacity, particularly in low- to middle-income countries. FT

Kite Pharma ($KITE) bought its way into Europe with a $21 million upfront takeover of T-Cell Factory, a Dutch biotech that is working on T cell receptor technology. The deal gives Kite access to T-Cell Factory's technology, licensing agreements and European R&D operations. T-Cell Factory has been rebranded as Kite Pharma EU as part of the takeover. FierceBiotech

Ablynx moved its AbbVie ($ABBV)-partnered anti-IL-6R Nanobody ALX-0061 into a Phase IIb trial. The trial--the first of two planned Phase IIb studies--will enrol 330 patients who have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis despite prior treatment with methotrexate. Top-line data are expected by the end of 2016, at which point AbbVie will in-license ALX-0061 if the results meet predefined success criteria. Release

Index Ventures chalked up the first victory for its "asset-centric" fund by offloading XO1 to Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives J&J a preclinical antibody with the potential to prevent blood clots without causing bleeding. For Index Ventures, the sale of the Cambridge, U.K.-based biotech is an early validation of the model it created to encourage investors to start backing early-stage projects again. FierceBiotech

Cell Medica picked up an orphan drug nod from the FDA. The status covers the use of CMD-003 as a therapy for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive non-Hodgkin lymphomas, one of several indications in which Cell Medica thinks the cancer immunotherapy has potential. CMD-003 is also in development for treatment of aggressive extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma--an indication very strongly associated with EBV--and was recently given to the first patient in a Phase II trial targeting the indication. The FDA also awarded orphan drug status to Nicox's Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment, naproxcinod. Release | More

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