Protocols

As Alexion fields applications for ALXN1210, a rival aims for the crown with head-to-head PhIII; Novo hands NBE €20M

Alexion $ALXN has filed for a European approval for ALXN1210, one in a series of applications that followed the recent application in the US. Designed to succeed their franchise drug Soliris, the drug has some advantages in treating PNH, but didn’t prove superior in pivotal tests. Interestingly, earlier this week one of Alexion’s rivals, Apellis $APLS, started a head-to-head Phase III study comparing its APL-2 with Soliris, one of the world’s most expensive therapies. Apellis CEO Cedric Francois noted: “We believe there’s an unmet medical need to bring patients with PNH a better treatment option that will provide broad hematological correction and better quality of life than the current standard of care.”

→ Switzerland’s NBE Therapeutics has tacked on a €20 million extension to its B round with a big commitment from Novo Holdings, doubling the initial funds it received from PPF Capital Partners Fund, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and private investors. Their lead program — NBE-002 — targets ROR-1 primarily for the treatment of solid tumors.

→ Burning some serious cash with its late-stage cancer studies, microcap biotech Celsion has secured a lifeline to help it stay afloat through 2020. The $10 million loan comes from Horizon Technology Finance, which is betting on both Celsion’s two existing products and “other strategic initiatives designed to broaden” its pipeline. Lead drug ThermoDox is in Phase III for liver cancer, while a soon-to-begin Phase I/II trial will test GEN-1 in ovarian cancer. The agreement brings the Lawrenceville, NJ-based biotech’s cash position to $26 million. In exchange, Horizon is getting 190,111 shares of Celsion’s stock $CLSN at $2.63 per share.


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