Marc de Garidel, CinCor Pharma CEO (Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images)

Fol­low­ing the re­cent play­book, Cin­Cor rais­es $225M on back of pos­i­tive PhII read­out

On Mon­day, Cin­Cor Phar­ma drummed up pos­i­tive Phase II da­ta for its hy­per­ten­sion drug bax­dro­stat, fol­low­ing it lat­er that day with a pub­lic of­fer­ing — as many oth­er pub­lic biotechs with pos­i­tive read­outs have done with as­tound­ing fre­quen­cy in the luke­warm mar­ket con­di­tions.

The size of that raise? $225 mil­lion, Cin­Cor said to­day in a press re­lease. The biotech had orig­i­nal­ly pro­posed its pub­lic of­fer­ing at six mil­lion shares, but said it was up­sized to 7.5 mil­lion.

In Mon­day’s read­out, Cin­Cor shared that bax­dro­stat, its lead can­di­date pre­vi­ous­ly dubbed CIN-107, re­duced pa­tients’ blood pres­sure by 20 mmHg, which was 11 mmHg more than place­bo. The tri­al en­rolled 275 pa­tients, with 248 com­plet­ing the 12 week treat­ment.

When bro­ken down by treat­ment arm, the drug had a dose-de­pen­dent im­pact — pa­tients from the two high­er dose co­horts had sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in their blood pres­sures com­pared to place­bo, while those in the low­est dose co­hort did not.

Like Cin­Cor, a num­ber of biotechs have tak­en the pos­i­tive-read­out-to-pub­lic-of­fer­ing route in re­cent months. On Wednes­day, Verona an­nounced its pub­lic of­fer­ing af­ter shar­ing a pos­i­tive COPD read­out. And in one of the biggest pub­lic rais­es this year, Karuna Ther­a­peu­tics said it planned to raise up to $690 mil­lion on Mon­day, cap­i­tal­iz­ing on its Phase III win for a schiz­o­phre­nia drug.

In an in­ter­est­ing twist to Karuna’s sto­ry, its ri­val Cerev­el al­so an­nounced a pub­lic of­fer­ing Thurs­day morn­ing, de­spite not hav­ing any new da­ta. Since Karuna tout­ed its pos­i­tive read­out, Cerev­el’s shares have jumped 23%. Now, it ap­pears, the biotech is try­ing to cash in.

Cin­Cor li­censed bax­dro­stat, an al­dos­terone syn­thase in­hibitor, from Roche in 2019. While re­duc­ing al­dos­terone has long been a goal for blood pres­sure drugs, se­lec­tive­ly re­duc­ing al­dos­terone has proved chal­leng­ing.

“The BrigHtn tri­al re­sults rep­re­sent the cul­mi­na­tion of decades search­ing for a clin­i­cal­ly safe drug which pre­vents syn­the­sis of al­dos­terone, but not the sim­i­lar adren­al gland hor­mone, cor­ti­sol,” Mor­ris Brown, pro­fes­sor of en­docrine hy­per­ten­sion at the Queen Mary Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don, said in a state­ment.

Min­eralys Ther­a­peu­tics al­so has an al­dos­terone syn­thase in­hibitor in the works which, like Cin­Cor, it claims is high­ly se­lec­tive. It ex­pects to read out its Phase II tri­al lat­er this year.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

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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Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

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Vlad Coric, Biohaven CEO

Vlad Coric charts course for new Bio­haven with neu­ro­science push and Big Phar­ma vets on board

What’s Biohaven without its CGRP portfolio? That’s what CEO Vlad Coric is tasked with deciding as he maps out the new Biohaven post-Pfizer takeover.

Pfizer officially scooped up Biohaven’s CGRP assets on Monday, including blockbuster migraine drug Nurtec and the investigational zavegepant, for $11.6 billion. As a result, Coric spun the broader pipeline into an independent company on Tuesday — with the same R&D team behind Nurtec but about 1,000 fewer staffers and a renewed focus on neuroscience and rare disease.

In AstraZeneca's latest campaign, wild eosinophils called Phils personify the acting up often seen in uncontrolled asthma

As­traZeneca de­buts an­noy­ing pur­ple ‘Phil’ crea­tures, per­son­i­fied asth­ma eosinophils ‘be­hav­ing bad­ly’

There are some odd-looking purple creatures lurking around the halls of AstraZenca lately. The “Phil” character cutouts are purple, personified eosinophils with big buggy eyes and wide mouths, and they’re a part of AZ’s newest awareness effort to help people understand eosinophilic asthma.

The “Asthma Behaving Badly” characters aren’t only on the walls at AZ to show the new campaign to employees, however. The “Phils” are also showing up online on the campaign website, and in digital and social ads and posts on Facebook and Instagram.

John Santini, President and CEO of Vergent Bioscience

Tiny Ver­gent seals mod­est Se­ries B in pur­suit of can­cer imag­ing agent

A biotech with only two full-time employees now has millions of more dollars to spend in its work on an imaging molecule.

Based out of Minneapolis, MN, Vergent Bioscience announced Tuesday morning that investors handed the company $21.5 million via a Series B round. The last time the company got funding was in 2018, thanks to a Series A worth $8.7 million.

The biotech’s emphasis is in a molecule called VGT-309, a fluorescent imaging agent that would allow surgeons to more quickly find solid tumors in patients during surgery. The biotech had originally in-licensed the molecule from Stanford. CEO and president John Santini tells Endpoints News that initially, Vergent was looking at dyes for non-human use only, for R&D applications.

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Rob Etherington, Clene CEO

Star­tup's gold nanocrys­tal ALS drug flops a PhII tri­al, a re­minder of the dis­ease's ob­sta­cles de­spite Amy­lyx OK

Despite the FDA approving an ALS drug for the first time in five years last week, the disease continues to fluster researchers, and another biotech is feeling the pain of a mid-stage failure.

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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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: No­var­tis re­cruits NFL coach for Leqvio cam­paign; Pfiz­er pro­motes ‘Sci­ence’ merch on so­cial me­dia

Novartis is turning to a winning coach to talk about Leqvio and the struggles of high cholesterol — including his own. Bruce Arians, the retired NFL head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is partnering with the pharma for its “Coaching Cholesterol” digital, social and public relations effort.

In the campaign, Arians talks about the potential for “great comebacks” in football and heart health. Once nicknamed a “quarterback whisperer,” he is now retired from fulltime coaching (although still a front-office consultant for Tampa Bay), and did a round of media interviews for Novartis, including one with People and Forbes.

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Amy West, Novo Nordisk head of US digital innovation and transformation (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: No­vo Nordisk dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion chief Amy West dis­cuss­es phar­ma pain points and a health­care 'easy but­ton’

Amy West joined Novo Nordisk more than a decade ago to oversee marketing strategies and campaigns for its US diabetes portfolio. However, her career path shifted into digital, and she hasn’t looked back. West went from leading Novo’s first digital health strategy in the US to now heading up digital innovation and transformation.

She’s currently leading the charge at Novo Nordisk to not only go beyond the pill with digital marketing and health tech, but also test, pilot and develop groundbreaking new strategies needed in today’s consumerized healthcare world.

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