UK research campus expands; FDA clears NGS test for tumors; Orphazyme raises €80 million IPO

Artist impressions of Babraham Research Campus expansion. /BioMed Realty

→ One of the leading bioscience hubs for R&D in the UK, Babraham Research Campus, got the OK from city planners to add two new buildings as part of an expansion funded by life science property giant BioMed Realty. Earlier this year, BioMed announced it would make a £35 million investment in the campus to build 108,000 square-feet of lab and office space called BioMed @ Babraham. The research campus already has about 1,200 workers and 60 early-stage life science companies on campus, along with the biomedical research center Babraham Institute. The new buildings will support growing companies that want to remain part of the Babraham Research Campus community, but need a larger space than are currently available. Once the project is finished, it will bring San Diego-based BioMed Realty’s total presence in Cambridge, UK to 860,000 square feet. The expansion is due for completion in 2019.

→ The FDA on Wednesday announced it has cleared a next-generation sequencing (NGS) test developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that can detect 468 unique gene mutations and other molecular biomarkers in a patient’s tumor. The test, referred to as MSK-IMPACT (Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets), was already approved for use with samples from patients in New York by the New York State Department of Health under its clinical laboratory evaluation program.

→ Orphazyme, a Danish biotech working on therapies for rare disease, has raised over €80 million in an IPO. The company’s lead product candidate arimoclomol is being tested in four rare diseases, including ALS and lysosomal storage diseases. The company is listing on the Nasdaq Copenhagen under the stock symbol ORPHA TEMP. Orphazyme’s IPO could be part of an upswing in European biotech. Biotechs in Europe raised a total of €2.49 billion in 2017, up 23% from 2016, according to a new report from Biocom AG.

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