EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Two more people left AstraZeneca ($AZN) for the top job at a biotech. Weeks after Briggs Morrison walked away from the top R&D post to become CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals, James Ward-Lilley and Chris Martin both exited AstraZeneca. Ward-Lilley stepped down as VP of respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity at AstraZeneca to become CEO of Vectura. And Martin left his role on MedImmune's senior leadership team to take the reigns at ADC Therapeutics. FiercePharma | Release

Kamada ($KMDA) expanded its relationship with Baxalta, the company that is set to spin out of Baxter ($BAX). The new deal covers the co-funding of a Phase I/II trial to assess whether Kamada's purified form of alpha-1 antitrypsin can prevent rejection of lung transplants. Kamada expects to get the trial--which will take place in Israel--underway in the first half of 2016. FierceBiotech

NuCana named an ex-Bristol Myers Squibb ($BMY) executive as its chief medical officer and opened an office in New Jersey. The hiring of Dr. Martin Birkhofer and expansion into the U.S. are both part of the Scottish biotech's preparations for the scaling up of its global clinical trial activities. Acelarin, a reworking of gemcitabine, is on the cusp of Phase III trials in two cancer indications and is advancing through the clinic in a handful more. Release

TxCell hit pause on activities at its pilot manufacturing plant to work on cutting the risk of microbial contamination of products made at the site. The French biotech downplayed the impact of the move on its development timelines. TxCell had already decided to work with a contract manufacturer on the supply of the T cell immunotherapies it needs for its upcoming clinical development program. In the longer term, TxCell plans to move into a new commercial-scale production plant by 2018. Release

ViraTherapeutics raised €3.6 million ($4.0 million) in a Series A round to move its oncolytic virus lead candidate into the clinic. The idea behind the program is that the presence of a surface protein from the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus on the oncolytic virus may stop the immune system negating its efficacy, allowing for repeated systemic administration of the therapeutic. Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund co-led the round with EMBL Ventures. Release

Allergy Therapeutics (AIM:AGY) moved closer to getting the long-delayed clinical trial program for its seasonal allergy product back on track. FDA initiated a clinical hold in 2007. And while the hold was lifted in 2012, Allergy Therapeutics never secured the partner it sought to support further development. Now, with £20 million ($30 million) of public investor's money in the bank and trial protocols in front of FDA, Allergy Therapeutics thinks Pollinex Quattro Grass will re-enter clinical development in September. Release

Motif Bio (AIM:MTFB) moved to raise £22 million ($35 million) from institutional investors. The financing, which comes less than three months after Motif Bio raised £2.8 million in its IPO, will give the company some of the money it needs to to embark on a $50 million late-phase trial program for its intravenous formulation of iclaprim. Motif Bio is developing the antibiotic against drug-resistant bacteria and hopes to start a trial in people with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infection in the second half of 2015. Release

Suggested Articles

Preclinical-stage biotech Abpro Therapeutics wants to trial its two lead candidates for HER2-positive cancers and diabetic macular edema in 2019.

After a rough patch in 2017, the stars seem to be realigning for French CAR-T expert Cellectis, which just closed a $164 million U.S. public offering.

Investment firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its 11th fund—worth $780 million—that will help established companies accelerate their growth.