Novan shares shoot up on positive PhII anti-fungal gel boast; Apexigen strikes a checkpoint combo agreement with Bristol-Myers

Nathan Stasko

→ Shares of Morrisville, NC-based Novan Therapeutics shot up 35% this morning after the biotech reported that investigators reaped positive top line data from a Phase II trial of SB208, their anti-fungal gel in development for infections caused by dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum, or T. rubrum. “The results from this Phase 2 trial with SB208 confirm the fungicidal activity of nitric oxide observed in our preclinical studies,” said Nathan Stasko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novan. “We have now seen clinical evidence of antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity with product candidates from our nitric oxide platform. Our ability to deploy antimicrobial doses of nitric oxide in this trial gives us confidence to move forward in the development of a potential treatment for hard-to-treat infections like onychomycosis.”

→ San Carlos, CA-based Apexigen is the latest biotech to match its experimental cancer drug with a checkpoint inhibitor. In this case Apexigen is combining its CD40 drug APX005M in patients with advanced solid tumors along with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo. A host of these deals have proliferated as these blockbuster checkpoints made their debut in a growing market.

→ Now under new CEO David Hung, Axovant Sciences priced its underwritten public offering of 6,742,179 of its common shares at$18.54 per share.

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