The latest news from French pharma, including AI-based biotech Owkin’s new status as a USD one billion-valued unicorn following fresh investment from Sanofi. Also included is another deal for Sanofi, this time in the form of a partnership with Chinese tech giant Baidu to use its algorithm for mRNA sequencing.
AI-based biotech startup Owkin becomes France’s new ‘unicorn’ after raising €159M from Sanofi (Silicon Canals)
French and US-based Owkin, a startup that provides machine learning to allow medical researchers to test AI models on distributed data, has raised $180M (approx €159M) in a fresh round of funding. With a valuation of more than $1B, Owkin has now earned the status of a ‘unicorn’.
The investment was a strategic collaboration by Paris-based Sanofi, a therapeutic solutions provider. The funding will support Owkin to develop the world’s leading histology and genomic cancer database from top oncology centres.
Baidu in partnership with Sanofi to use its algorithm in mRNA vaccine, therapy development (Reuters)
Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc (9888.HK) said on Monday it has licensed its algorithm for messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence to Sanofi SA for use in designing vaccine and therapeutic products, entering its first such commercial deal with a major global drugmaker.
Sanofi (SASY.PA) had been one of the world’s biggest vaccine makers before the pandemic, but the French firm was beaten by rivals BioNTech /Pfizer (PFE.N) and Moderna (MRNA.O) in developing mRNA shots against COVID-19. read more
Ribonexus, Pierre Fabre sign licensing agreement on small molecules targeting eIF4A (The Cancer Letter)
Ribonexus (previously Aglaia Therapeutics) and French pharmaceutical group Pierre Fabre signed an exclusive license agreement on a series of Pierre Fabre-patented small molecules targeting the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A (eIF4A). This target is highly expressed in a variety of solid and hematologic cancers, including melanoma, and associated with resistance to many current therapies.
France’s Abionyx to buy IRIS Pharma Holding, expand into ophthalmology (Nasdaq)
French biopharmaceutical company Abionyx Pharma ABNX.PA said on Wednesday it had signed a deal to buy the owner of ophthalmological group IRIS Pharma.
Abionyx said it would fully finance the deal, which values IRIS Pharma Holding at 5 million euros ($5.66 million), through a capital hike that aims to raise around the same amount.
Ipsen (EPA:IPN) Has A Rock Solid Balance Sheet (Simply Wall St)
Warren Buffett famously said, ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ It’s only natural to consider a company’s balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. As with many other companies Ipsen S.A. (EPA:IPN) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?