Results, Setbacks

Matinas Bio shares are crushed on disappointing PhII antifungal data

Roelof Rongen, CEO, Matinas

Shares of Matinas BioPharma $MTNB were shredded early Monday after the biotech announced that its lead anti-infectives program failed to match a mainstay in the field in a mid-stage study.

MAT2203 hit the primary endpoint on safety and tolerability, but the biotech’s execs say they were disappointed that the therapy failed to perform as well as fluconazole in treating vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Its shares plunged 50% after the news hit, despite the biotech’s assertion that it learned some important things about MAT2203 in the study that would help with the development program as it hit the threshold of a pivotal trial.

“In this particular study, we were not successful in demonstrating meaningful clinical or mycological response of MAT2203 as compared to fluconazole,” noted CEO Roelof Rongen. “However, upon review of the improvements over baseline of the composite clinical score of patient signs and symptoms at Day 5 and Day 12 at both the 200 mg and 400 mg arms, we were pleased to see what we believe could indicate clinical response which may provide support for the systemic delivery of MAT2203 to the site of infection.”

Comparing these results from data obtained in an NIH study of the anti-fungal, the CEO added that a higher dose and longer duration could make all the difference.

Matinas was launched in 2011 by a group of execs deeply experienced in omega-3 development, and initially targeting a new drug in that field. After the company went public, though, it switched its focus to anti-fungals.


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