Woodford backs Malin's €325M IPO, U.K. rejigs VC trust rules, Genmab shuffles antibody assets

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Neil Woodford is tightening his ties to Malin, the investment vehicle set up by Kelly Martin and other former Elan executives. Having joined with Martin to invest in Viamet Pharmaceuticals ($VIAM), Woodford has now committed cash to Malin to move it closer to its goal of raising €325 million ($345 million) when it goes public in Dublin, Ireland. A report that Malin could hit the upper end of its range was one of two pieces of positive European IPO news to emerge this week. Nordic Nanovector was responsible for the other. The Norwegian lymphoma drug developer upped the amount it expects to raise in its Oslo IPO by 25%, a jump that will give it the cash to fund Phase I and II trials in its secondary target indication. United Kingdom Chancellor George Osborne rejigged his stance on Venture Capital Trusts, but--to the relief of the biotech industry--opted against imposing the stringent restrictions mooted last year. Actelion (VTX:ATLN) posted shock-free detailed data on its great pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) hope Uptravi, keeping it on track for a 2016 regulatory approval. Genmab (CPH:GEN) picked up death receptor 5-related assets from France's iDD Biotech, but turned down the offer to co-develop HuMax-TAC-ADC with Switzerland's ADC Technologies. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Woodford backs Malin to move ex-Elan execs toward €325M IPO goal

Neil Woodford's fund has committed to buy shares in Malin, the life science investment company set up by Kelly Martin and other former Elan executives. And with Woodford, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and other cornerstone investors gobbling up two-thirds of the shares, observers think Malin could hit the top end of its IPO range.

2. Nordic Nanovector upscales IPO as demand tops expectations

Nordic Nanovector has increased the amount it is aiming to raise in its upcoming IPO by 25%. The cash will allow Nordic Nanovector to accelerate clinical development of the antibody-radio-conjugate Betalutin in its secondary indication, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

3. Biotech spared in U.K. rejig of VC trusts

The United Kingdom is to change the laws governing startup investment vehicles known as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) but has opted against some of the dramatic alterations previously mooted. VCTs will still face new restrictions on the companies to which they can provide private equity cash, though.

4. Deep dive into Actelion's Uptravi data calms investors as FDA decision date nears

Actelion has presented detailed data on the drug it hopes will cement its position in the pulmonary arterial hypertension market, Uptravi. The shock-free data drove a small uptick in Actelion's stock, but fell short of being the blockbuster-guaranteeing release some were hoping to see.

5. Genmab buys iDD antibody assets, drops ADC co-development rights

Genmab has tweaked its pipeline, picking up assets from iDD Biotech while dropping the option to co-develop HuMax-TAC-ADC with ADC Technologies. The reshuffle leaves Genmab with a new array of assets to advance toward the clinic.

And more >>

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