Kelly Martin takes CEO post; TiGenix up on PhIII cell therapy success; MorphoSys inks I-O deal

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Kelly Martin is back in the hotseat at a biopharma business. Malin, the life science fund Martin helped to set up, gave the former Elan CEO its top job as part of a reshuffle intended to equip it for the next phase of its development. The idea is to have Martin impart experience to help Malin's portfolio companies to grow. A clutch of up and coming European biotechs posted positive news this week. TiGenix became the first company to post positive Phase III data on an allogeneic stem cell therapy, sending its stock price up 20%. Ablynx (EBR:ABLX) decided to keep its Phase III asset caplacizumab to itself and make a fist at becoming a fully-integrated biopharma business. And MorphoSys (ETR:MOR) picked up some targets from its compatriot Immatics to support its immuno-oncology ambitions. The week was more downbeat for one of the big beasts of European biopharma. Novo Nordisk ($NVO) saw its hopes of expanding the use of Victoza dashed after the drug disappointed in Phase III. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Kelly Martin takes over at Malin in post-acquisition phase reshuffle

Former Elan CEO Kelly Martin is back at the helm of a business. The controversial dealmaker has taken over as CEO of Malin, the life science investment fund he helped to set up and guide to a €330 million ($380 million) IPO earlier this year.

2. Shares in TiGenix jump after stem cell therapy hits PhIII endpoint

On a day when stock markets tumbled, TiGenix saw its share price jump by more than 20% on the strength of data it thinks represents the first time an allogeneic stem cell therapy has aced Phase III.

3. MorphoSys trades assets with Immatics to bolster I-O ambitions

MorphoSys has moved to add targets for its immuno-oncology arsenal. The agreement sees MorphoSys gain access to tumor-associated peptides discovered by its compatriot Immatics Biotechnologies in exchange for some of its antibodies, with both companies paying out milestones as their respective programs advance.

4. Novo Nordisk defers dream of expanding Victoza label after PhIII falls short

Novo Nordisk has hit a roadblock in its drive to expand the label for Victoza to cover use in Type 1 diabetics. The snag arose when Victoza failed to deliver hypoglycaemic benefit experienced by Type 2 diabetics in people with the other form of the disease in a Phase III trial.

5. Ablynx keeps mits on PhIII asset in bid to step up commercial business

Ablynx has decided to retain full ownership in the U.S. and Europe of its Phase III-ready drug for the orphan blood disease acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). A Phase III trial of caplacizumab is due to start soon, setting Ablynx on a path it expects to lead to a filing for conditional approval in Europe early in 2017.

And more articles of note >>