F-star, a UK biopharmaceutical company working in oncology and immuno-oncology, has started a phase 1 clinical study of FS102, its lead compound for treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.

The clinical study is being conducted in the United States by Bristol-Myers Squibb, which acquired exclusive rights to the programme in October 2014. FS102, an antibody fragment derived from F-star’s Modular Antibody Technology, demonstrated in pre-clinical studies that it could eliminate of certain types of HER2 positive tumours.

Centre opens

The University of Nottingham has opened a Synthetic Biology Research Centre, which is designed to support scientists working on breakthroughs in chemicals research. The centre was made possible by £14.3m of funding from the Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council.

Company acquired

American firm Biogen Idec has agreed to acquire UK-based Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of ion channel-modulating product candidates for neuropathic pain. Biogen Idec plans to use Convergence’s expertise in chronic pain research and clinical development to accelerate the growth of its own pain portfolio.Convergence will continue to operate out of Cambridge in the UK.