More News! COPD, European CRISPR patent, pain-free blood collection and more…

Try as we might, we can’t cover all the week’s biotech news. Here’s a roundup of what didn’t make the cut during the last week.

Regulations and funding

  • UK-based Circassia announced that the FDA has approved its drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which the company plans to launch in the US later this year.
  • Israeli pharma company Teva received EU approval for its monoclonal antibody treatment of migraine, which can be given either quarterly or monthly.
  • Swedish biotech Gesynta Pharma has raised €6M to help progress its lead drug candidate to a phase II trial. The drug is being developed to treat microvascular disease in chronic inflammatory conditions.
  • Inficure Bio, based at the Umeå Biotech Incubator in Sweden, received €192,000 to support further testing of a unique mouse model of fibrosis it has developed that it hopes will help other companies test potential drugs to treat the condition.
  • Loop Medical, an early-stage Swiss company developing a novel, pain-free blood collection device, has received a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation worth €3.2M to support clinical trials and further development of the device.
  • Santhera, a Swiss biotech developing treatments for rare eye, neurological and lung diseases, raised money against its shares and opened a new credit line to give the company a boost of up to €19.5M to further develop its pipeline.


  • Swiss non-profit EspeRare has partnered US biotech Dermelix Biotherapeutics to develop a protein-replacement therapy for unborn babies with the rare genetic condition X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.
  • Bayer’s investment arm ‘Leaps by Bayer’ and the US biotech Khloris are collaborating to develop anti-cancer vaccines using induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • UK biotech Exscientia reached the first milestone in its collaboration with GSK by discovering a potential drug candidate for treating COPD using its artificial intelligence platform.
  • Japanese pharma group Maruho will continue its partnership with German dermatology-focused biotech Biofrontera by buying a 30% stake in the company, but does not intend to take over the running of the European company.

Company policy and legal

  • Euronext moves one step closer to acquiring the Oslo Bors stock exchange, where a number of Scandinavian biotechs such as BerGenBio and Targovax are listed, by gaining approval from the Norwegian market authorities.
  • ERS Genomics announced that the European Patent Office has granted Emmanuelle Charpentier, the University of California, and the University of Vienna a new CRISPR/Cas9 patent covering the use of the gene editing technique in human and animal cells.

Products and services

  • German diagnostics company Curetis has released an atlas of antimicrobial resistance markers, developed by its subsidiary Ares Genetics, to allow rapid DNA testing of hospitalized patients for signs of resistance.

Images via E. Resko

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