Laurent Levy, Nanobiotix co-founder and CEO (via Nanobiotix)

UP­DAT­ED: An­oth­er biotech that went pub­lic in pan­dem­ic boom aims to weath­er the bear mar­ket through R&D cut­backs

The bear mar­ket is show­ing no signs of let­ting up, with a French biotech that IPO’ed dur­ing the pan­dem­ic boom feel­ing the heat.

Nanobi­otix, a French biotech fo­cus­ing on new treat­ments for can­cer, is cut­ting back on pre­clin­i­cal re­search and amend­ing some of its on­go­ing stud­ies to stay afloat, the com­pa­ny said in its first quar­ter re­port late Wednes­day night. The cuts are aimed at pri­or­i­tiz­ing its lead pro­gram for ad­vanced head and neck squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma, Nanobi­otix said.

Though the com­pa­ny re­port­ed it was “re­duc­ing satel­lite of­fice fa­cil­i­ties,” a Nanobi­otix spokesper­son told End­points News this in­volves mov­ing hy­brid em­ploy­ees to ful­ly re­mote rather than lay­ing off staff.

“As we con­tin­ue to see un­prece­dent­ed de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the cap­i­tal mar­kets, we are tak­ing proac­tive steps to ad­just our cost struc­ture, re­duce spend, and fo­cus our op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties on build­ing a head and neck fran­chise,” chair­man Lau­rent Levy said in a state­ment.

In­vestors ap­peared some­what dis­turbed by the news, as shares $NBTX were down more than 8% in ear­ly Thurs­day trad­ing.

Nanobi­otix is at­tempt­ing to get its lead pro­gram, dubbed NBTXR3 and ac­ti­vat­ed with ra­dio­ther­a­py, in front of reg­u­la­tors rel­a­tive­ly soon. FDA has said it would con­sid­er an ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for the can­di­date, per the biotech’s re­count­ing, and Nanobi­otix says it will sub­mit a po­ten­tial pro­to­col and sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis plan in the first quar­ter next year.

There are a cou­ple of steps Nanobi­otix is plan­ning to en­sure it can make the most of its head and neck can­cer drug. First and fore­most, ex­ecs are re­duc­ing the amount of pre­clin­i­cal and dis­cov­ery work they ex­pect to con­duct, as well as adapt­ing their man­u­fac­tur­ing in­fra­struc­ture to match the re­duced out­put.

Then there are what Nanobi­otix is call­ing the satel­lite of­fice re­duc­tions. The com­pa­ny spokesper­son did not spec­i­fy known how many of­fices Nanoio­bitx us­es, and now won’t be us­ing, nor how many em­ploy­ees work at these fa­cil­i­ties.

Last­ly, the biotech is amend­ing an on­go­ing clin­i­cal tri­al for NBTXR3, short­en­ing the fol­low-up time from 24 to 12 months. Re­searchers are study­ing whether the drug in el­der­ly head and neck squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma pa­tients who are in­el­i­gi­ble for cis­platin ther­a­py, with fi­nal study da­ta ex­pect­ed in the mid­dle of next year.

All the moves rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant shift for a biotech that went pub­lic dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic boom, pulling in $99 mil­lion in a De­cem­ber 2020 IPO. As of Thurs­day’s open­ing price of $5.33 per share, the biotech’s stock is down rough­ly 60% from its de­but price of $13.50. And like many oth­er com­pa­nies suf­fer­ing the bear mar­ket this year, Nanobi­otix is down a hefty amount since Jan­u­ary: more than 37% in the red for 2022.

This ar­ti­cle has been up­dat­ed to in­clude com­ment from a Nanobi­otix spokesper­son.

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Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

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Justin Klee (L) and Joshua Cohen, Amylyx co-CEOs (Cody O'Loughlin/The New York Times; courtesy Amylyx)

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In an investor call Friday morning, Amylyx revealed that it would charge about $158,000 per year, a price point that immediately drew backlash from ALS advocates and some outside observers. The cost reveal had been highly anticipated in the immediate hours after Thursday evening’s approval, though Amylyx only teased Relyvrio would cost less than previously approved drugs.

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Rob Etherington, Clene CEO

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Clene Nanomedicine reported early Monday that its ALS program, which uses gold nanocrystals to try to catalyze intracellular reactions, did not achieve its Phase II primary or secondary endpoints. And in a press release, the company noted for the first time that it’s speaking with “potential strategic partners” about the program — language that typically indicates a biotech is preparing to sell off an asset.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

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Severin Schwan, outgoing Roche CEO (via Getty Images)

Roche hires new di­ag­nos­tics chief from with­in, ahead of C-suite shake-up

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Mesoblast sends in im­proved po­ten­cy as­say, look­ing to re­sub­mit to FDA on acute graft-ver­sus-host dis­ease drug

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Johnny Stilou, Scandion Oncology acting CEO

Scan­dion's shares fall af­ter on­col­o­gy biotech re­ports PhII fail

Danish biotech Scandion Oncology posted some Phase II results on Friday, and investors were none too pleased.

The biotech reported topline results from the second part of an ongoing Phase II trial called CORIST. The study was investigating Scandion’s lead candidate SCO-101 in 25 patients as a combination treatment with FOLFIRI chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer. And so far, the study did not meet the biotech’s primary endpoint: tumor reduction of at least 30%.

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