Erytech shares crater as PhIIb AML study flops; Synlogic, Gingko collaborate on discovery work; Active Biotech forced to sell property due to Teva's drug failure
→ The French biotech Erytech Pharma $ERYP says that its Phase IIb trial of eryaspase for acute myeloid leukemia failed, triggering a rout of the biotech’s share price. The drug flunked the primary endpoint on overall survival in the trial, which recruited 123 patients over the age of 65. The stock plunged 28% on the news. “These data reflect the complexity of this disease, particularly in the older age group,” commented Iman El-Hariry, the CMO at Erytech.
→ Cambridge, MA-based Synlogic $SYBX has struck a collaboration deal with Gingko Bioworks, collaborating on its work reengineering bacteria into therapeutics. Gingko will provide high-throughput organism screening as Synlogic builds its pipeline of living meds.
→ Bad news for Teva $TEVA means extra bad news for its partner Active Biotech. The small Swedish company said this morning its attempting to sell the company’s property in Lund in hopes of generating much-needed liquidity for the company. Active Biotech’s stock $ACTI cratered last month after Teva’s drug laquinimod flunked a Phase II trial endpoint in primary progressive MS. Teva has spent years in pursuit of a laquinimod approval, despite mounting evidence that it couldn’t compete. Recently the struggling outfit launched a restructuring that led to the departure of R&D chief Michael Hayden. But Teva’s struggle is putting Active Biotech in a tough financial situation. “Unless a sale of the property at a value generating additional liquidity or another solution is achieved, lead to that the company will lack funding to ensure its business the coming twelve-month period,” the company reported in a statement. “The company currently has liquidity deemed necessary to finance operations until the end of the second quarter of 2018.”
→ Shares of Sucampo spiked after Bloomberg reported that it’s considering putting itself up for sale after encountering some interest in a takeover. Bloomberg quoted sources close to the talks, who say no decision has been made.
With additional reporting by Brittany Meiling.