Clinical Trial

A double dose of bad news

02.03.2012

Sweden’s Karo Bio AB has been hit hard by toxicity issues with its lead compound eprotirome. The anti-cholesterol drug – which was in Phase III clinical development – proved unsafe in a long-term animal tests. The drug lead to cartilage damage in dogs after 12 months of exposure. “These unexpected findings mean that it cannot be excluded that humans could suffer from similar cartilage damage,” said Karo Bio in a statement, which indicated it had spent around €11m (SEK 100m) on the eprotirome programme to date, with another €6.2m (SEK 55m) still to come in wind-up costs. “Eprotirome has been a project with great potential, but also a project with risks,” commented Karo Bio CEO Per Bengtsson. “Unfortunately, the risks associated with long-term use do not outweigh the benefits, which is why we are forced to make this difficult decision.” In the wake of that news, the Huddinge-based company announced it was also giving up its plan to spin off its preclinical development business. Karo Bio had intended to sell it to new owners in order to strengthen its financial position. But with the termination of the eprotirome program, the developer is now faced with having to interest investors in the prospects of the company’s other projects and its collaboration with Pfizer. The US drug giant agreed last December to fund research of the biotech’s drugs that target the RORgamma pathway to fight autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. At the end of February, Karo Bio announced it was laying off 17 employees – a quarter of its workforce. Together with other measures, this should save cash and keep the company afloat until at least 2013.

Politics / Law

23.03.2012

Brussels/Strasbourg – Health claims are set to be drastically limited in the EU. On Wednesday 21 March the Environment Committee of the European Parliament confirmed a proposal of the European Commission to prohibit 1,600 health...

Politics / Law

15.03.2012

Parma/Stockholm – Foodborne bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are becoming more and more resistant to antimicrobial drugs, according to a joint report published by the European food watchdog EFSA and the European...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

In mid-February, scientists and entrepreneurs from nine EU countries met at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to launch the 4DCellFate project. Positioned within the FP7 Programme, the consortium will receive...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

Brussels – The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will establish the European Lead Factory, an EU-wide public-private partnership aiming to facilitate drug discovery efforts. The Lead Factory will comprise a...

Editorial

07.03.2012

T    he societal and economic challenges facing Europe and the world are complex and interconnected. The Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, which was adopted by the...

Tech Review

07.03.2012

Intellectual Property (IP) is without question one of the most vital aspects of any bio­tech venture, a key and undisputed factor for success. However, most bio­tech companies are still incapable of unlocking the value of their...

Clinical Trial

07.03.2012

Schlieren – Swiss Cytos Biotechnology Ltd. has been authorised to restructure a convertible bond by Canton of Zurich authorities. The company does not have enough cash to pay it back. Negotiations with bond holders failed in a...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Munich – German 4SC AG jumped 39% to €2.05/share after oncology drug candidate resminostat met the primary endpoint of at least a 20% progression-free survival rate in a Phase II trial to treat patients with hepatocellular...

Editorial

06.03.2012

The start of 2012 witnessed the tides turning in favour of small and mid-cap names in the European Life Sciences sector. Major global biotechnology indices like the NBI, BTK, and BIOTK are up over 15% year to date. The pace of...

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