IPOs top €1B in first 9 months of '15; EU awards €23M to HIV vax; GSK advances MorphoSys drug

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Europe now has data to confirm 2015 is on track to be a big year for IPOs. Market analyst Biocom tallied up the figures, calculating that European biotechs raised €1 billion ($1.1 billion) through IPOs worldwide over the first 9 months of the year, 18% more than over the same period of 2014. An A-list consortium of academic centers snagged €23 million to move an HIV vaccine toward the clinic. GlaxoSmithKline committed to moving the granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor antibody it licensed from MorphoSys into a Phase II osteoarthritis trial. But the Big Pharma also saw another of its execs leave for a biotech. Neil Brewis is the latest to make the leap, swapping a role as head of biopharmaceutical research at GSK for the chance to serve as CSO of F-star. Adocia posted Phase Ib data on its combination of Eli Lilly's Humalog and Sanofi's Lantus, moving it closer to a pivotal study and possible licensing deal. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Euro biotech IPOs smash through €1B barrier in just 9 months

European biotechs raised more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) through IPOs in their home markets and overseas in the first 9 months of 2015, according to market analyst Biocom. But while the total represents an 18% increase over the same period of last year, a stuttering final quarter could cause 2015 to end with a whimper.

2. A-list academic consortium snaffles €23M to take HIV vaccine into clinic

A consortium of top-tier European research centers has snagged €23 million ($25 million) to take a HIV vaccine toward the clinic. The Imperial College London-led project is drawing on the scientific capabilities of 23 research centers in an attempt to move a HIV vaccine into Phase I within the next 5 years.

3. GSK moves in-licensed MorphoSys' drug toward Phase II osteoarthritis trial

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is preparing to move the granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF) antibody it licensed from MorphoSys (ETR:MOR) into a Phase II trial in osteoarthritis of the hand. The move opens up a new possible indication for the drug, which GSK saw primarily as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis when it picked it up in a €445 million ($483 million) deal.

4. Brewis leaves GSK to take up CSO post at F-star

F-star has become the latest biotech to bag itself a Big Pharma exec. Neil Brewis is now heading up scientific operations at the immuno-oncology player, having previously served as GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) head of biopharmaceutical research.

5. Adocia builds case for Lantus-Humalog combo with positive Phase Ib data

Adocia (EPA:ADOC) has taken a step toward a planned Phase III trial of its combination of Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Humalog and Sanofi's ($SNY) Lantus. The latest hurdle to be cleared was a Phase Ib trial, in which Adocia's BioChaperone Combo triggered significantly bigger post-meal drops in blood glucose than Humalog alone.

And more articles of note >>