What other biotech news have you been missing? A big China IPO and more

29 DEC 2018
by john carroll — on December 24, 2018 10:14 AM EST
Updated: December 26, 2018 09:52 AM


After the Hong Kong ex­change saw the first slate of biotech IPOs plunge well below their debut price, the in­vest­ment crowd got more than a lit­tle wor­ried about what the fu­ture held for other Chi­nese play­ers look­ing to raise cash. But Shang­hai Jun­shi Bio­sciences has helped ease the fret­ting — for now — after watch­ing its stock leap on their roll­out Mon­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Reuters the com­pany raised close to $400 mil­lion and then cheered on a 22% surge in their stock price. And that fol­lows a suc­cess­ful launch for In­novent, an­other pre­mier China biotech, which has also seen a surge since their IPO some weeks ago.

As­cle­tis, the first to take the plunge, has seen 60% of its mar­ket cap dis­ap­pear after the his­toric first step this year. And BeiGene has also ex­pe­ri­enced heavy tur­bu­lence.

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Linus Yip, Chief Strategist at First Shanghai Securities, told Reuters that a more realistic valuation helped set the stage for the latest IPO to succeed.

Histogenics shares eviscerated after FDA frowns on PhIII data

Histogenics $HSGX saw its share price get shredded after reporting their decision to drop NeoCart after the FDA demanded to see more data on NeoCart before they would accept a BLA for review. The stock dropped 75% as the biotech added that it is bringing in consultants to review strategic options — which includes bankruptcy protection. Histogenics shares are now deep in penny stock territory.

AbbVie pays India biotech $30M to partner on MALT1 for cancer

AbbVie has turned to India’s Lupin for an add-on approach for its oncology R&D group.

Lupin says that the pharma giant is paying $30 million in cash upfront to partner on its MALT1 inhibitors. The protein is linked with T-cell and B-cell lymphocyte activation, and AbbVie plans to test it for hematological cancers.

If it works, there are $947 million in milestones to collect.

Microbiome startup Vedanta scores $27M in Series C

Unlike rivals such as Seres and Rebiotix who are developing pills in an effort to treat disease by harnessing gut microbes found in healthy feces, Vedanta is developing a consortium of bacteria manufactured from pure, clonal cell banks that the biotech hopes can induce a range of immune responses.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company, which has already joined forces with J&J’s $JNJ Janssen and Bristol-Myers Squibb $BMY, on Monday said it had raised $27 million in a Series C round from investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers, Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management, Seventure Partners, and PureTech Health.

The money will be used to finance the development of 4 of the company’s experimental drugs, including a Phase I/II study of VE416 in food allergy, a Phase Ib/II study of VE800 and Bristol-Myer’s Opdivo in advanced or metastatic cancers, and the recently initiated Phase II study of VE303 in recurrent C. diff, which were created out of Vedanta’s cluster of bacterial strains.

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