Appeal rejected, Shkreli stays in jail; MyoKardia brings forward pivotal data readout
→ Biotech bad boy Martin Shkreli — who gained notoriety for price gouging — was imprisoned for a different crime: defrauding investors in hedge funds he founded. On Thursday, a federal judge upheld that conviction — cementing his time in jail, Reuters reported. He was given a seven-year sentence and managed to ruffle feathers even in the confined quarters of his jail cell after it was reported he was managing the biotech Turing (now renamed Phoenixus) using an illicit mobile phone.
→ In January, Sanofi $SNY walked away from a heart drug partnership forged in 2014 with MyoKardia $MYOK. On Thursday, the San Francisco-based biotech indicated it plans to unveil the results of a pivotal study testing its genetically targeted heart drug, mavacamten, in the second quarter of next year, ahead of its previous forecast of the end of 2020.
→ Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb $BMY and Ono Pharmaceutical are joining forces to evaluate the combination of Bayer’s kinase inhibitor Stivarga, and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s/Ono’s checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo in patients with the most common form of metastatic colorectal cancer.
→ Emmaus Life Sciences on Wednesday vaulted on to the Nasdaq on Thursday by reverse merging with MYnd Analytics — a company focused on delivering mental health services using telemedicine and data analytics. Emmaus, which in 2017 secured FDA approval for its sickle cell disease therapy Endari, will make its Nasdaq debut under the symbol “EMMA”. Endari is a pharmaceutical version of L-glutamine, a drug sold over-the-counter as a nutritional supplement. EU regulators in contrast recently recommended the drug not be approved on the basis that the data from the main trial did not show it was effective at reducing the number of sickle cell crises or hospital visits, and a high drop-out rate in the study.