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.