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UCB, investors back a neurosciences startup called Syndesi; Germany’s Biofrontera increases US IPO pricing range

Dhavalkumar Patel, UCB

UCB and a syndicate of Belgian and international investors have joined hands to launch a new biotech called Syndesi Therapeutics. The Belgian startup gained a €17 million A round, which will be used to back a lead small molecule obtained from UCB’s neuroscience group, which has been studying a class of novel SV2A modulators. “We are excited to see Syndesi develop our novel pro-cognitive SV2A modulators to create value for patients with cognitive impairment,” said Dhavalkumar Patel, UCB’s CSO. The cash was put up by Novo Seeds and Fountain Healthcare together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, V-BIO Ventures, the Walloon Investment Fund (SRIW) and VIVES Louvain Technology Fund.

→ In a show of optimism for the US market, Germany’s Biofrontera has updated its upcoming IPO offer to a price range of $11 to $13, from the original $8.80 to $10.80. The plan is to sell 3 million shares in exchange for $36 million, with a market value of $266 million. The 20-year-old dermatology biotech, which sells treatments for skin conditions caused by sun damage, plans to list as $BFRA.

→ South Korea’s biosimilar maker Celltrion saw its shares fall nearly 10% in a matter of days following news that the company received a warning letter from the FDA raising issues over a manufacturing facility in Incheon, South Korea. The letter asked Celltrion to turn in supplemental documents about changes the FDA asked for regarding drug production. “We are making progress addressing these concerns, and we are committed to working with the agency to fully resolve all outstanding issues with highest priority,” the company said in a statement. The Korean drugmaker has introduced two treatments to replicate Roche’s Rituxan and Johnson & Johnson‘s arthritis med Remicade. It’s also filed for approval of its cheaper version of Herceptin.

With additional reporting by Brittany Meiling and John Carroll.


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