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EuroBiotech Report—U.K. startups boost, AgomAb funding, Novartis’ IFM deal and Galapagos’ success

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. As the region faces a delayed Brexit, we saw a focus on life sciences this week as Cambridge Innovation Capital committed nearly $200 million to biotechs in its R&D hub and prime minister hopeful Michael Gove said slashing EU trial rules could help boost innovation. Meanwhile, agnostic mAb maker AgomAb got off a healthy series A and an Argenx pact, while Novartis penned a potential $1.6 billion biobucks pact with IFM for its inflammation work. And Galapagos, alongside partner Gilead, reported another set of positive data for JAK inhibitor filgotinib. — Ben Adams

  1. CIC raises £150M to back startups at U.K. R&D hot spot

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) has raised £150 million ($196 million) to invest in startups emerging from a U.K. life sciences research hot spot. The financing will support existing portfolio companies such as Bicycle and Carrick Therapeutics and equip CIC to back additional businesses.

  1. AgomAb Therapeutics unveils itself with €21M, new leadership and Argenx collaboration

After two years in the making, AgomAb Therapeutics is coming out of stealth with a €21 million ($23.5 million) series A round to develop agonistic monoclonal antibodies—or “agomAbs”—that could potentially treat a variety of diseases. The financing should give AgomAb the runway to get its first antibody ready for the clinic.

  1. Novartis ponies up $310M for IFM Therapeutics’ inflammation-focused unit

Novartis is handing over $310 million up front to acquire IFM Therapeutics’ inflammation-centered subsidiary, IFM Tre. The deal includes up to $1.265 billion in milestones and gives Novartis access to one clinical and two preclinical NLRP3 antagonist programs from IFM Tre.

  1. Gilead and Galapagos’ big drug hope hits arthritis goal in latest phase 3 tests

Gilead and Galapagos have notched another series of late-stage wins for their JAK inhibitor filgotinib, with one analyst saying safety data “looks clean” after recent scares in the class.

  1. As Brexit delayed, wannabe next PM wants to slash trial regulations

In the middle of a major democratic quagmire over when and how the U.K. should leave the EU, one man (and the bookies’ favorite to be the next prime minister) is talking about cutting red tape surrounding clinical trials.