EU reportedly eyeing vaccines deal for monkeypox outbreak; Nasdaq tells Mereo to get stock price up or face delisting
The EU is reportedly working toward a centralized procurement deal for smallpox vaccines to tackle the rising number of cases of monkeypox, according to sources who spoke to the Financial Times.
Andrea Ammon, director of Europe’s CDC, told the FT that the European Commission is “definitely looking at what can be done centrally” and central procurement is “one of the options that are looked at but of course countries are also” looking into bilateral avenues.
While smallpox was eradicated decades ago, a vaccine for that virus is about 85% effective at preventing monkeypox infection, according to WHO, and at least one undisclosed country has placed a deal for Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine, Jynneos.
The EU news comes a day after the deputy director of Africa CDC warned against vaccine hoarding by wealthier nations and two days after Roche unveiled three new tests to detect the virus. Aside from Jynneos, the FDA has also previously approved SIGA Technologies’ Tpoxx as a treatment for monkeypox in 2018.
Bavarian Nordic told Endpoints in a statement that the company is speaking with Europe’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority and individual countries in the EU, but declined to provide further comment “on speculation about potential deals at this time.” — Kyle LaHucik
Mereo headed to ASCO with TIGIT drug data as it seeks to stay on Nasdaq
UK oncology biotech Mereo Biopharma is going to ASCO with data from a Phase Ib/II combination study with TIGIT drug etigilimab and Bristol Myers’ Opdivo (nivolumab). According to Mereo, the study looked at 27 efficacy-evaluable subjects with select locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors.
Out of the 27 patients, 12 had a clinical benefit with 1 complete response, 2 partial responses, 9 stable disease designations, and 15 subjects had “radiological/clinical progression.” In total, Mereo is reporting an overall response rate of 11% and disease control rate of 44% — and no new safety signals.
While Mereo will be at ASCO with a poster on this data, it is already keeping an eye on the financial side. Mereo also announced Thursday that it received a letter from Nasdaq after its American depository shares failed to list at a minimum bid price of $1 over the last 30 business days. Mereo $MREO noted that it had been given 180 days — until Nov. 21, 2022 — to get its closing bid price over $1 for 10 days in a row. If not, the biotech can be subject to delisting, pending a potential further grace period or an appeal to a hearing panel. — Paul Schloesser