EuroBiotech Report—AbbVie-Galapagos, Novartis-Aveo, Nextbiotix, PredictImmune and Cellect | Bio Tech

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with two stories of leading pharma companies walking away from partnered drugs. AbbVie got the week going by opting against further development of one of Galapagos‘ cystic fibrosis combination regimens. Galapagos released the news alongside data that suggest it may struggle to compete with cystic fibrosis rival Vertex on efficacy.

Elsewhere, Novartis returned the rights to AV-380 to Aveo Pharmaceuticals. Novartis sent the notice one day after Aveo disputed its partner’s compliance with the terms of their agreement. Microbiome startup Nextbiotix raised €7 million. PredictImmune named Paul Kinnon as CEO. Cellect and denovoMATRIX entered into a stem cell research project. And more. — Nick Taylor  

1. AbbVie dumps Galapagos’ cystic fibrosis combo on back of underwhelming data drop

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AbbVie has dumped one of Galapagos’ cystic fibrosis regimens after getting a look at underwhelming clinical data on a component of the triple combination. The action prompted Galapagos to review the future of its relationship with AbbVie—and provided a boost to cystic fibrosis rival Vertex. 

2. Novartis dumps Aveo drug as relationship sours

Novartis has walked away from Aveo Pharmaceuticals’ AV-380 three years after paying $15 million (€13 million) upfront for the asset. The action cuts short a relationship that was starting to sour amid the slow progress of the treatment for severe, cancer-related weight loss. 

3. Microbiome startup Nextbiotix raises €7M to tackle inflammatory bowel diseases

Nextbiotix has raised €7 million ($8 million) to develop a bacterial treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases. The series A round will support work to rebalance the gut microbiome through the delivery of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, one of the most abundant species of bacteria in the gut.

4. PredictImmune names Paul Kinnon as CEO

PredictImmune has named Paul Kinnon as its CEO. Kinnon, a former Life Technologies VP, has spent most of the past decade running diagnostic businesses Transgenomic and ZyGEM.

5. Cellect, denovoMATRIX start stem cell research project

Cellect Biotechnology and a group at Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) have teamed up to explore the combination of their stem cell technologies. If Cellect deems the experiments a success, it will seek to form a stem cell product development agreement.

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