Looking forward to 2016, I wondered which Biotechs I would watch closely. Here’s my list (which is not meant to be extensive and is in no particular order):


1. Immunocore – Oxford, UK

immunocore headquarter

Immunocore’s headquarters (Source: Immunocore)

Immunocore is developing TCR-based immuno-oncology treatments and has raised nearly €300M ($320M) in its last round of private fundraising – a pure anomaly for the European standard.

ImmTACs are a novel class of biologic drugs based on the Company’s proprietary T cell receptor (TCR) technology, which have the potential to treat diseases with high unmet medical need including cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases.

2016 will be a year with high expectation for the company (from the public and the investors who invested so much) and lot will be going on.

Bonus:


2. Enterome – Paris, France

microbiome_jj_janssen_crohns_inra_enterome1

Enterome is racking up the High profile partners (Source: Labiotech)

Enterome is one such French biotech (established in 2012) which is hot at the moment too, having already raised around €17.5M in VC funding a syndicate which also included Seventure and two strategic investors (Shire & INRA transfert). Enterome is now looking to further develop their Microbiome platform for inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s.

Since this biotech has already identified bacterial strains, genes and products with immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties using its advanced proprietary ‘metagenomics tools and screening technologies‘, it is not exactly unsurprising others are lining up to work with them too.


3. Kymab – Cambridge, UK

kymab_kymouse_biotechs_hot_2016

The Kymouse platform comprises multiple mouse strains, each with its own diversity profile enabling a broader range of antibodies than immunising a single mouse strain. (Source: Kymab)

With a combined $70M (€63M) in equity funding from both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, Kymab has very strong financial backing. Other equity-based investments include famous Venture Capital firms Malin Corportion and Woodford Patient Capital Trust, up to a total of $120M (€108M).

With its unique approach to antibody delivery, the Kymouse Platform has allowed this biotech to advance drug and vaccine discovery in a range of key medical research areas including HIV,  malaria, cancers and autoimmune diseases.

As a result, Kymab has generated a lot of interest in the market, having been nominated London Stock Exchange techMARK ‘Emerging Star’ award for excellence in June 2015.


4. Bio-On – Bologna, Italy

bio-on-biotech-hot-potato-bioplastics

The goal was to create a plastic that does not pollute the environment and Bio-On is specialized in the production of eco-friendly materials. The idea behind this new innovative biopolymer is to recycle processed waste from agro-industrial producers, including excess potato plants.

Minverv PHAs will be produced from 2017 by Bio-On in Minerbio, a small area near Bologna – where the first Italian plant dedicated to the development of sustainable biopolymer will be set.


5. Cellectis – Paris, France

ucart_cellectis_cancer_andre

Cellectis is probably the most successful Biotech in France. It was founded in 1999 by André Choulika following the discovery of meganucleases ability to change gene editing. Today, Cellectis is a well-known Biotech company counting over 100 employees at the end of October and having a market cap north of 1 Billion euros.

The company is now focused on the development of allogenic CAR-T (from generic donors  – i.e. not from the patient themself). As well as having ‘saved a baby Girl from terminal leukemia‘ in the UK, these Universal CAR-T treatment (UCART19) is undergoing GMP production and is prepping for the first official human trial.

Bonus:


6. TauRx – Aberdeen, UK

Alzheimer's

Background (Source: National Institute on Aging), Brain Graphic (CC: Allan Ajifo @ aboutmodafinil.com)

TauRX is a spin-off biotech from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland (UK) where its clinical trials are being conducted, although its official headquarters are based in Singapore. Their Alzheimer’s pipeline has led to the latest generation of their Tau-aggregation inhibitors (TAIs) attracting a massive €120M funding round. This money was raised to finance Phase III trials, which positive results have been released in October 2015.

So, 2016 could be a key year for this Biotech as the Wall Street Journal reported, and it has planned a 15 billion dollars (!) IPO on the NASDAQ.

Bonus: Read our review on 2015’s Major Developments in the Neurodegenerative Disease Field


7. Evolva – Basel, Switzerland

evolva_biotech_hot

(Source: Evolva)

Evolva is a pioneering Biotech providing ingredients (and technologies for making ingredients) to a broad range of other companies, in particular in the food and beverage, personal care and consumer health sectors.

Using fermentation based approaches to production, their products include stevia, resveratrol, vanillin (read our story on SynBio Perfumery), nootkatone and saffron amongst many others.

Bioactive ingredients are the solution to moving away from petro-chemical derivatives these days, and 2016 should be no exception, making Evolva certainly one to watch.


8. Genfit – Lille, France

elafibrinor_nash_genfit_nature

Elafibranor as an anti-fibrotic drug has a broad target market with chronic liver damage (such as that caused by NASH) which can result in serious long-term liver damage (Source: Nature Reviews Immunology 14, 181–194 (2014) doi:10.1038/nri3623)

Genfit is the European leader in NASH research (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). It made the news at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) conference in San Francisco and we had the chance to interview the CEO of the company.

2016 will be the year of its Phase III trial, which will be determinant for the future of the company and its stock value (moving a lot between €700M and €1Bn).


9. Global Bioenergies – Paris, France

global_bioenergies_hot_biotechs_2016

Isobutene Production is useful to a number of industries including Organic Glass, Aviation Fuel, Butyl Rubber and more (Source: Global Bioenergies)

Global Bioenergies is one of Europe’s leading SynBio company being worth nearly €100M (going down because of the ridiculously low price of oil right now). Its approach to second-generation isobutene production (using non-edible sources of biomass – e.g. wood chips) has turned out to be hugely popular.

It just started 2016 by strengthening its partnership with German car manufacturer Audi. What’s to come next?


10. CureVac – Stuttgart, Germany

curevac_investment_baillie_gifford

Mixing up of CureVac Graphics (Source: CureVac)

CureVac is the pioneer in mRNA therapies, starting clinical trials in 2008 and now has the most advanced trial running (phase IIb in Cancer) with strong supporters including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It raised an extra 100 million euros early November to reach over €300M (!) raised so far.

2016 will be the year of production and scale, with a part of the 100 millions to be invested in a brand new production facility.

Bonus:


What do you think? Which Biotech is in your top-list to watch? I would be curious to hear what you think in the comments below 😉

Philip Hemme

Philip Hemme

Young French-German Entrepreneur, Co-Founder & CEO of Labiotech.eu. High-level table-tennis player & German beer lover.

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16 Comments

  1. Rene Noergaard
    12/01/2016 at 17:00 — Reply

    Two Belgium biotechs might have entered your list as well, namely Celyad and Ablynx and one German, Affimed.
    Celyad will have European P3 results for a unique programmed stem cell treatment for heart regeneration as well as P1 results for their CAR-T programme, which showed 100% tumor clearance in pre-clinical trials. In addition they hold the first US patent for allogenic TCR’s.
    Ablynx’s nanobodies hold significant promise in the area of antibodies and multispecific antibodies. They have a prominent portfolio of partnerships and may end up as a gamechanger in the antibody landscape.
    Affimed is an early stage biotech, however their bispecific antibodies (and an upcoming tri-specific) engaging NK cells against cancer, showing 100+ times improvement in activity vs existing bispecifics holds major promise. Like a CAR-T of the shelves!

    • Philip Hemme
      13/01/2016 at 12:18 — Reply

      Thanks Rene for your comment. Celyad, Ablynx and Affimed are definitely interesting Biotech!

  2. Marianne
    16/01/2016 at 09:47 — Reply

    You may have added DBV Technologies unless you are no longer considering this company as biotech?

  3. 16/01/2016 at 23:40 — Reply

    Biomethodes is French US bio refinery company . The only one in this domaine that combines biomass treatment and enzymes technology . The company have obtained more than 12 m fundings from US gov for the devekopment of its technology is US and signed a first commercial deal with Norskes Skog one of biggest paper company for the deployment of a first commercial plant in France . The company is disceat it deserve to be mentioned among the best prepared to lead the bio economy .

    • Philip Hemme
      18/01/2016 at 10:05 — Reply

      Thanks Gilles for your comment and yes, Biomethodes could have been added. Maybe next year 😉

  4. Pedro
    19/01/2016 at 17:34 — Reply

    I would add Walden Medical, in Spain.

    • Philip Hemme
      19/01/2016 at 19:09 — Reply

      Thanks Pedro but Walden Medical doesn’t seems to be a Biotech company.

  5. Alfredo Fort
    20/01/2016 at 08:49 — Reply

    Excellent list to look out for! Thanks for compiling the concise descriptions.

  6. Silvina Samy
    20/01/2016 at 12:01 — Reply

    Hello! Have you heard about Biomode S.A., Portugal? Biomode core activities are focused in the research, development and the commercialization of rapid diagnostic kits based on Peptide Nucleic Acid FISH technology for microbial detection in food and clinical samples. In 2014, Biomode was granted a new investment fund of 1.6 Million Euros from its main partners to develop new products and to finish the certification process of Probe4Salmonella Kit near the North American certification entity – AOAC. The first certified product – Probe4Salmonella – was expected to enter the market by the end of 2015.

    • Philip Hemme
      20/01/2016 at 17:12 — Reply

      Thanks Silvina for your comment. I haven’t had heard of Biomode before but it sounds interesting.

  7. David Bourgais
    21/01/2016 at 09:05 — Reply

    Hi,

    What about Galapagos (www.glpg.com)?
    Galapagos lead compound Filgotinib is entering phase III with, on the top of that, an interesting deal with Gilead. Plus the fact that Filgotininib can be used not only on rhumatoid arthrisis but also in Crohn disease.
    Galapagos is a Belgium company having also offices and labs in the Netherlands and in France.
    Anyway, really good article!

    Cheers,

  8. Bahare
    27/01/2016 at 23:16 — Reply

    Thanks, excellent and interesting

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