Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Two corners of Britain's great hope for competing with the likes of Boston and San Francisco, the area dubbed the "golden triangle," spent the week talking about the one area in which they indisputably fall short of their rivals: Cash. The University of Oxford went some way to remedying the situation by creating an investment fund and persuading the likes of Google Ventures and Neil Woodford to stuff £320 million ($524 million) into its coffers. London's solution to its own cash concerns is at an earlier stage but its ambitions are far bigger. Mayor Boris Johnson wants to make £10 billion in equity and debt financing available and has called Eli Lilly ($LLY), Pfizer ($PFE) and JP Morgan to a meeting to discuss the plan. Across the channel, Biophytis initiated plans to follow the fashion among French biotechs for IPOs in Paris. And the already-public DBV Technologies ($DBVT) hit go on its Phase III trial plans in an attempt to retain its slender lead in the race to bring a peanut allergy vaccine to market. The mood in Germany was less buoyant, with Biotest (FRA:BIO) receiving the news that AbbVie ($ABBV) is walking away from their rheumatoid arthritis partnership in the wake of lackluster Phase IIb data. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)
1. Backing from Google Ventures drives Oxford Uni spinout fund past £300M target
Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) has eased past its £300 million ($475 million) fundraising target. The University of Oxford-focused investment vehicle pulled in a total of £320 million after Google's VC wing contributed to a fundraising drive that had already attracted Neil Woodford and other big names in British biotech.
2. DBV makes a beeline for Phase III as peanut allergy race hots up
DBV Technologies has exited its end-of-Phase II meeting with FDA with a plan for the next steps of development of its peanut allergy vaccine. And with Aimmune Therapeutics breathing down its neck, the French biotech is keen to get its pivotal trial up and running before the end of the year.
3. Biophytis files for Parisian IPO to hustle AMD and obesity drugs toward POC
Biophytis has added its name to the list of biotechs to head to the Parisian stock exchange in 2015. The age-related disease biotech has filed the paperwork for an IPO on its local exchange to finance the march of its two lead candidates into Phase IIb trials.
4. AbbVie hands back rights to Biotest's RA drug after trial flop
AbbVie has walked away from its claim to Biotest's anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody, tregalizumab. The decision comes two months after Biotest posted Phase IIb data showing tregalizumab failed to outperform the placebo in terms of improvements to ACR20 scores.
5. London mayor moots £10B biotech 'megafund' to close gap on U.S. hotspots
The mayor of London has come up with a scheme to bridge the financial chasm between the U.K. and U.S. biotech hubs. Officials have called Eli Lilly, Pfizer and JP Morgan to a meeting to discuss the plan, which entails creating a £10 billion ($15 billion) fund to invest in drugs across the development spectrum, The Financial Times reports.
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