01.08.2012 - Merck Serono has spun off the first company as part of its Entrepreneur Partnership Program. The project was launched in April 2012 when mother company Merck KGaA in Darmstadt had decided to end its activities in Geneva.
Newco Prexton Therapeutics will be formed around Merck Serono's R&D portfolio in the field of Parkinson's disease and will focus on programmes that target the metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluR3 and mGluR4. Prexton will be hosted in the offices and laboratory of Eclosion, a biotech start-up incubator supported by the Geneva authorities and Merck Serono which will invest €2.1m as seed funding. Helping spin-off companies such as Prexton was one of Merck Serono’s proposals to employee groups unsatisfied by social plan and severance options. In total, the pharma has reserved €30m to back start-ups by employees at its operations in Geneva. Prexton will be run by a team of Merck Serono scientists, with a member of Merck Serono Ventures on the board of directors.
25.11.2014 The European biotech IPO slump has finally come to an end. A brand new industry report shows that compared to previous years, the number of biotech IPOs more than doubled in 2014, with London and Paris exchanges leading the pack.
19.11.2014 It’s not every day that a company is pushed into the top ten of its sector, but that day has come for Actavis. Christmas came early for the new pharma giant after completing a US$66bn (€53bn) takeover battle for the Botox manufacturer Allergan.
18.11.2014 Merck KGaA and US rival Pfizer have signed a immuno-oncology alliance worth billions: Merck will share the development and commercialisation of its cancer antibody with its US partner – for €2.3bn.
14.11.2014 Cosily coinciding with World Diabetes Day on 14th November, French biopharma Les Laboratories Servier has struck a US$1bn deal with US pharma Intarcia Therapeutics for the exclusive rights to Intarcia’s unprecedented therapy for type 2 diabetes.
12.11.2014 Glitz and glamour are not words often used to describe science and mathematics. But once a year, celebrities from the science and showbiz world come together at the Breakthough Prizes, a glitzy television bash that honours scientists for their achievements. French life scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier was among this year’s winners.
04.11.2014 Galecto Biotech has entered an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the acquisition of the company and its lead drug, providing the Swedish company with the potential of reaching over US$400m.