Endo axes R&D staff in restructuring; China biotech Connect raises $20 million

• Endo $ENDP is carving into its corporate group as well as branded R&D ops in Malvern, PA, axing about 90 staffers in a company-wide reorganization. The Dublin-based company expects to save $40 million to $50 million a year in the restructuring.

• Suzhou-based Connect Biopharmaceuticals has raised $20 million in a Series A round for its work on immune system modulators for autoimmune diseases as well as cancer. Qiming Venture Capital led the round, underscoring a wave of new cash that’s begun to lift China’s biotech industry. Much of this money will pay for a Phase II study of CBP-307 for inflammatory bowel disease.

• This is how you shop a deal, if you’re lucky enough. Go to a reporter from, say, Bloomberg and tell them you’re close to doing a deal for a key asset, which is clearly a blockbuster in the making. That’s what Newron did, getting some traction for a Phase IIa drug — evenamide — for schizophrenia. If you’re really lucky, the reporter will also say that there’s an “even more promising” drug in the clinic. The IIa data is due in March. We’ll see how a deal develops.

• Philadelphia-based Ossianix, a Corey Goodman startup, has picked up an unspecified milestone from Lundbeck for their work on a bispecific shark antibody program designed to sneak drugs into the brain. Ossianix has research facilities in Stevenage in the UK.

• The FDA has approved a 72 mcg dose of Linzess (linaclotide) for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adult patients.

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