GlycoMimetics shares crash after Pfizer team dismisses their lead drug as a PhIII failure
Close to 8 years ago, the BD team at Pfizer signed a $340 million deal to license in a mid-stage drug from GlycoMimetics for a particularly painful complication of sickle cell disease. There was no exact word on the cash involved, but the pharma giant agreed to fund the entire Phase III effort they would need for an approval.
It didn’t work.
After the market closed on Friday, the biotech reported that Pfizer execs had passed on word that the trial failed the primary endpoint — time to discharge readiness — as well as key secondaries. We didn’t get the hard numbers, just the top-line news.
For GlycoMimetics, which cited this drug as their lead therapy in the pipeline, it was a disaster. The biotech’s stock $GLYC lost 42% of its value after the bell.
The drug — called rivipansel (GMI-1070) — had been designed to circumvent a biologic process that spurs what’s called a vaso-occlusive crisis among sickle cell patients by binding to all three members of the selectin family.
We found when GlycoMimetics went public in 2013 that Pfizer agreed to pay just $22.5 million upfront for the deal, with $115 million — evidently later adjusted to $80 million — due for development milestones. $20 million was reserved for first dosing in the late-stage study.
Biren Amin at Jefferies also isn’t overly bullish on GlycoMimetics next big Phase III catalyst in 2020.
The next readout is from Upro PIII AML trial in YE ’20, and we view the PIII as risky.
“We are both surprised and deeply disappointed by this outcome, as we had strongly hoped that rivipansel would have a positive benefit for people living with sickle cell disease,” said GlycoMimetics CEO Rachel King in a statement.