LONDON – Computational biology specialist Precisionlife Ltd. has used UK Biobank data to find sepsis risk genes that are present specifically in patients who suffer severe COVID-19 infections and shown that 13 of those genes are known druggable targets.
LONDON – In a potent demonstration of how COVID-19 is transforming the U.K. clinical trial landscape, 47,000 patients have been recruited to studies investigating potential treatments for the infection in a little over two months.
DUBLIN – Kurma Partners closed its third biotech fund, Kurma Biofund III, at €160 million (US$174 million), €10 million ahead of its initial target. The Paris-based fund will allocate the bulk of the capital to therapeutics firms, but it is also open to opportunistic investments in med tech, particularly in digital health applications and in biotech-med tech convergence, partner Peter Neubeck told BioWorld.
LONDON – The U.K. has started a fast track national trial of experimental drugs in COVID-19 patients, with Bergenbio ASA’s phase II cancer immunotherapy, bemcentinib, the first of six products that are due to join the study.
LONDON – A veteran of the European vaccines industry has brought together three companies in three countries, in what is described as an ultra-fast-track COVID-19 vaccine development program. From a standing start less than three months ago, the three biotechs, Reithera Srl in Rome, Leukocare AG in Munich, Germany, and Univercells SA in Brussels, Belgium, have advanced to GMP manufacturing, with first-in-human studies due to start in June.
DUBLIN – The Swiss biotech sector raised about CHF1.2 billion ($$1.2 billion) in equity investment in 2019, a significant downward dip on the last two years, but well ahead of its average annual raise of CHF800 million over the past decade, according to the newly published Swiss Biotech Report 2020.
LONDON – The U.K. treasury announced a £500 million (US$622.5 million) COVID-19 bailout plan for research-based startups, which could see the government holding equity stakes in venture capital-backed firms.
LONDON - The director general of the World Health Organization has given a dignified and measured response to President Donald Trump’s decision to halt U.S. funding of WHO, pending a review of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
DUBLIN – The EMA has activated a COVID-19 task force to coordinate and accelerate the European regulatory response to the pandemic. The task force is intended to take a lead role in shaping the development, authorization and post-approval surveillance of drugs and vaccines for treating or preventing COVID-19 infection.
LONDON – An unseemly row has broken out at the heart of EU science, with Mauro Ferrari, head of the European Research Council (ERC), accusing the European Commission of failing to coordinate and fund R&D needed to combat COVID-19.