Incyte tries to fend off TRC's mini-tender offer to investors; Gritstone Oncology scoops Actelion CFO Jean-Marc Bellemin
→ Incyte $INCY is counting on its investors to protect 0.71% — or 1,500,000 shares — of its common stock, from Canada’s TRC Capital, which is out to buy them at a discount price. The investment firm promised $88.88 per share in cash, compared to $93.16 that Incyte said it was trading at when the offer commenced. The Wilmington, DL company notes that TRC has made “many similar unsolicited mini-tender offers” for other public companies’ shares, and urge shareholders to ignore or withdraw from the transaction.
→ After a stint of more than 15 years at Actelion, acquired by J&J, Jean-Marc Bellemin is taking a new job at Emeryville, CA-based Gritstone Oncology. As CFO and EVP of finance, Bellemin has a broad mandate to lead the immunotherapy company’s finance, accounting and investor relations functions, as well as human resources and information technology. All of this will be familiar to him, as he steered much of Actelion’s strategic decisions before J&J bought out the Swiss biotech.
→ Based on results from a Phase I trial, Copenhagen-based Zealand $ZEAL reported today that its lead drug glepaglutide may still work if it’s taken once or twice a week — instead of every day. Twice- and once-weekly regimens for the GLP-2 drug was deemed to have “adequate exposure for clinical effect” in short bowel syndrome, according to a pharmacokinetic study involving 75 healthy subjects. With positive PhII data using once-daily dosage under its belt, the 20-year-old biotech is now proposing to take the new regimen into a Phase III trial, expected to begin this year.
→ Kingston, RI-based MindImmune says it has executed a research alliance with Pfizer on the role for peripheral immune cells in the pathology of central nervous system disorders. Oddly, the deal comes right after Pfizer $PFE announced plans to dump all its early- and mid-stage neurosciences work.
→ Israel’s BioCanCell has raised $25 million from investors while laying plans for a public listing in the US later this year, according to a report from Reuters. The lead drug — BC-819 — is designed to treat non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.