Following a NASH crash, Conatus turns the keys over to regenerative med player
Six months after Conatus execs read last rites over their Novartis-partnered NASH program, they’ve handed the shell of what’s left to a regenerative med player for a reverse flip onto Nasdaq.
Conatus CEO Steven Mento put out a statement saying that the “merger” with Histogen was their best move. More likely it was their only one after the trial sputtered out after 4 straight clinical setbacks. Novartis had paid $50 million in cash to collaborate on that drug, surprising just about everyone in the field and temporarily offering a bright horizon to Conatus investors.
For his part, Histogen CEO Richard Pascoe said they are all pumped by the move, which opens up a new source of capital as they go about the business of developing their own drugs. They have an IND coming for a male pattern baldness drug. And there’s another Phase I launch being prepped for a treatment of articular cartilage defects in the knee.
Biotech IPOs have started 2020 on a strong beat, with a variety of $100 million-plus offerings hitting the table. But after a surge of investing with the IPO window open for 4 years now, there’s plenty of wrecked companies to pick from along the side of the biotech financial roadway these days.
Histogen hasn’t selected their new stock symbol yet.