A unicorn stalks Wall Street in search of IPO cash; CASI Pharma in-licenses CD19 therapy from China’s Juventas
→ A herd of upstart biotechs will look to Wall Street for some major windfalls this week as a burst of new offerings continues to feed cash into the R&D system. Today we learned that BridgeBio will look to raise in the neighborhood of $225 million by offering 15 million shares for $14 to $16 each. And they have a string of joint bookrunners: J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, SVB Leerink, KKR, Piper Jaffray, Mizuho Securities, BMO Capital Markets and Raymond James. If successful, BridgeBio will emerge with a market cap of around $1.7 billion. There are 5 biotechs looking to IPO this week, including Akero and Prevail.
→ Rockville, MD-based CASI Pharmaceuticals has in-licensed an anti-CD19 T cell therapy from China’s Juventas. CASI is making an $11.6 million investment in Juventas in lieu of an upfront payment. They’ll jointly continue the development work.
→ Flex Pharma is having a little bit of trouble in executing its reverse merger deal with Salarius Pharmaceuticals. The failed biotech $FLKS says it needs to see more votes cast by shareholders after failing to achieve a quorum — in person or proxy — at a special meeting. Its beleaguered shares dropped 24% to a mere 49 cents in pre-market trading on Monday.
→ Arbutus Biopharma tapped William Collier as its next president and CEO. Collier succeeds Mark Murray, who is retiring on June 23. Collier has had over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He served as president and general manager, North America at ViiV Healthcare, in addition to a stint at GSK $GSK as well.
→ Medical genetics company, Invitae Corporation, is set to acquire Singular Bio to help increase access to genetic screening in early pregnancy. Singular Bio is “a privately held company developing single molecule detection technology that enables lower costs and expanded use of high-quality, cell-free nucleic acid analysis, initially for application in non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS).”
→ Incyte $INCY on Saturday presented 24-week results from a mid-stage study of its JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib, which showed the drug met the main goal of inducing ≥50% improvement in the facial vitiligo. “This 24-week interval was the first part of a 3-part, 104-week study, and await 52- and 104-week data to confirm the safety and efficacy seen this weekend,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note.
→ Calithera $CALA on Monday broke out data from a mid-stage study testing its glutaminase inhibitor, telaglenastat, in combination with chemotherapy everolimus. The telaglenastat combination achieved a median progression-free survival (mPFS) of 3.8 months, while everolimus-treated patients experienced mPFS of 1.9 months. “While the top-line data are encouraging, they do appear to have deteriorated vs. earlier Phase I results,” SVB Leerink analysts wrote in a note.
→ A 15-month long sweeping internal investigation encompassing more than a million documents, thousands of hours of secret video surveillance — installed under the auspices of former CEO Parker “Pete” Petit — and over 80 witnesses, painted a sordid picture of the scandalous past of the wound care company MiMedx in May. Earlier this month, MiMedx begged its shareholders not to fall for maligned Petit’s bid to return to the company’s board, along with two of his business associates. A preliminary vote count suggests stockholders have listened, the company said on Monday.