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.
24.03.2015 Poland has announced the closing of a new venture capital fund at US$42m (€32m). The fund, which is the first of its kind in Poland, is dedicated to the Life Sciences with a strong connection to Central and Eastern Europe.
23.03.2015 A BASF-led consortium aims to decrease bio-based production costs using industrial biotechnology. The Horizon2020 funded consortium is the sixth project of the SPIRE Public Private Partnership and has a budget of €14m.
17.03.2015 Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will be key collaborators in a new global fund for dementia research to address the rising threat posed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
12.03.2015 With around 1,400 companies and 2,400 participants, the springtime counterpart of BIO-Europe enjoyed a successful premiere in France this year. The overall mood of the European biotech industry was positive, and the French hosts in particular reported new initiatives.
10.03.2015 The Gates Foundation has dipped into its purse to bring infectious diseases vaccines to the poorest countries. German vaccine specialist CureVac is set to receive US$52m for their mRNA platform technology.
05.03.2015 The IPO wave in the biotech sector shows no signs of slowing down. An Irish life sciences fund set up by former Elan executives plans to raise €325m with its IPO, whilst Summit Therapeutics has announced its IPO pricing of US$34m on Nasdaq.