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.
03.07.2015 Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF 1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, the new plant will create up to 400 jobs.
02.07.2015 Dutch biotech Amarna and Austrian Biomarker research centre CBmed have joined forces to develop several immunotherapies, including therapies against cancer and diabetes type 2. The joint venture will develop Amarna’s next generation viral vector platform.
30.06.2015 Pharma giant Novartis has bumped up its neuroscience portfolio with the recent purchase of Australian biotech Spinifex for a US$200m upfront payment plus US$500 in milestone payments. The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’ mid-stage pain drug EMA401.
24.06.2015 Swedish scientists have created artificial neurons that are capable of mimicking the function of human nerve cells. The researchers hope that, once minituarised, they may one day be used to restore disturbed neural function.
22.06.2015 For the 31st time, the ACHEMA has drawn the global chemical engineering and the process industry to Frankfurt. Although still overshadowed by petrol, the biobased economy is getting ready to step out into the limelight.
12.06.2015 The high-potential cancer immunotherapy market is fiercely fought, and small companies have trouble making their mark. Nordic companies Targovax and Oncos have joined forces to create a Nordic immuno-oncology champion named Polaris.
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