J&J backs Scottish incubator, Nordic Nano wraps up IPO, Biotie bags big investors and plans IPO

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) added another outpost to the growing network of incubators to which it is affiliated. The latest site to receive the backing of J&J is run by BioCity, which is trying to turn a campus abandoned by Merck ($MRK) into a hotbed of Scottish life science startups. Across the North Sea, Norway's Nordic Nanovector (OSE:NANO) and its Finnish neighbor Biotie Therapies (HEL:BTH1V) spent the week talking IPOs. Nordic Nanovector closed the book on its listing at NOK 575 million ($73 million), 40% more than it originally set out to raise. Biotie is at the start of the IPO process, picking up cash from a clutch of big-name investors that will snag shares if its Nasdaq float goes ahead as planned. In Spain, Almirall (BME:ALM) gave a reprieve to 9 staffers but axed another 59 as it honed the therapeutic focus of its R&D operation. NeuroVive Pharmaceutical (STO:NVP) set up a French subsidiary and outlined plans to hire a small team in Lyon. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. J&J backs Scottish biotech incubator at ex-Merck site

Johnson & Johnson has extended its tendrils into another biotech incubator. Having played a role in the formation of incubators in the U.S., Canada and Israel in recent years, the Big Pharma has now lent its support to an initiative to foster the development of Scottish life science startups.

2. Nordic Nanovector wraps up one of Europe's biggest biotech IPOs of 2015

Nordic Nanovector has closed the book on its IPO at NOK 575 million ($73 million), around 40% more than it originally set out to raise. The upsized listing puts Nordic Nanovector among the early front-runners at the top of Europe's biotech IPO class of 2015.

3. Biotie bags big-name investors as it beats a path to Nasdaq

Biotie Therapies has become the latest European biotech to propose hitching its financial future to the whims of Wall Street. And the central nervous system specialist has picked up some big-name financial backers to tide it over until it is ready to list on Nasdaq.

4. Almirall spares 9 jobs as ax falls on Spanish R&D operation

Almirall has confirmed it is to cut back its Spanish R&D operation as part of a move toward becoming a specialty dermatology company. But the ax-wielding is less severe than first expected, with Almirall retaining 9 of the 68 positions that were originally on the block.

5. NeuroVive sets up shop in France to boost stroke R&D, snag state grants

NeuroVive Pharmaceutical is putting down roots in France. The mitochondrial-protection specialist has had a toehold in the country for years through its alliance with Hospices Civils de Lyon and has decided now is the time to formalize its presence.

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