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.
24.08.2016 Pharma major Pfizer is putting the cherry on top of its multi-billion-dollar takeover of Medivation with the acquisition of AstraZeneca’s antibiotics for a cool US$1.5bn. With the divestment, AZ aims to further sharpen its focus.
23.08.2016 Cambridge University-allied investor Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised £75m (€87m) to reinvest in technology and healthcare companies. Among the backers were Woodford Investment and Winton Ventures.
19.08.2016 Together with partner Johnson & Johnson, Danish biotech Genmab is now one step closer to FDA approval with its combination treatment for multiple myeloma after its submission of a supplemental Biologics License Application. In July, Genmab was granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for its blood cancer therapy.
17.08.2016 Philip Hammond, the UK’S chancellor has announced the government will guarantee funding for EU-backed "structural and investment fund" projects whose timelines extend beyond the UK’s departure from the EU, provided the projects are signed prior to this year's Autumn Statement on the UK budget. The decision ensures continued funding for farmers, companies and institutions involved in the EU’s Horizon 2020 project. The move could cost the UK government up to £6bn (€6.9bn).
15.08.2016 Back in April, the American FDA gave the green light for the colorectal cancer-screening test Epi procolon. Now Berlin-based diagnostics specialist Epigenomics is considering a secondary listing in the US. A draft of the required registration document was confidentially submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
09.08.2016 Hungarian Gedeon Richter and Irish Allergan are staying on course in the face of dissappointing Phase III results for depression drug cariprazine. The partners will now begin another Phase III study needed for approval.
08.08.2016 Araclon Biotech’s Alzheimer’s vaccine ABvac40 is going forward into Phase II after showing a good safety profile in Phase I. The promising trial results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
01.08.2016 Life science venture capital group Epidarex has launched Nodthera Ltd, a biotech based on research by Poland-based drug discovery company Selvita. The start-up aims to develop novel inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
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