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Summit shares shoot up on positive DMD PhII; AstraZeneca and allies back a new incubator/accelerator at Babraham

→ Shares of Oxford-based Summit Therapeutics $SMMT shot up 28% on Thursday morning after rolling out positive biomarker data from a Phase II study of Duchenne MD patients. Researchers say the study of utrophin modulator ezutromid demonstrated a 23% decrease in myosin. The drug is partnered with Sarepta Therapeutics, which markets the controversial drug eteplirsen in the US.

→ With the help of some close industry allies, the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, UK has established a new biotech incubator and accelerator now in business to give some fledgling outfits some key early support. Some of the company execs who work at Babraham have already offered to help with a mentoring program, while the new facility offers young life sciences companies easier access to lab facilities and tech. Pharma giant AstraZeneca and its big subsidiary Medimmune are lending a hand, along with the trade group One Nucleus (now run by Tony Jones) and RxCelerate, a company that offers industry-grade preclinical studies to clients looking to better understand the potential of the experimental drugs they’re working with. There have been a number of initiatives like this aimed at growing a bigger biotech hub in and around the Golden Triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

→ US China AI startup XtalPi has rounded up $15 million from a group of investors led by Google. According to TechCrunch the company was launched by three Chinese graduate of MIT, looking to use AI to accelerate drug development work.

Synergy Pharma $SGYP has scored FDA approval for a much-anticipated second indication for Trulance, this time for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. The New York biotech was already prepping a supplementary FDA back when it bagged an OK for Trulance as a constipation therapy, and touted positive results in May. This approval pits the drug directly against Ironwood’s Linzess, while Ardelyx is catching up with the gang.


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