Novartis chips in $10M for IPO-bound partner Pliant; Tenax shares soar on heart drug data
→ Novartis is coming in with $10 million to help support the looming IPO of a partner. Pliant Therapeutics posted a new filing with the SEC showing that Novartis is buying the shares at $15, the mid-point of the range. It’s adding several million shares to the offering, bringing the total to around $135 million. Biotech companies have been enjoying quite a run on virtual Wall Street, with investors boosting new offerings to some big hauls.
→ Shares of Tenax Therapeutics, formerly known as Oxygen Bio, shot up on Tuesday after data from a small mid-stage study were published on its sole drug, levosimendan. The calcium sensitizer — which is approved for intravenous use in hospitalized patients with acutely decompensated heart failure in 60 countries (not including the United States) — was evaluated in a 37-patient study in patients with pulmonary hypertension and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The data were mixed — the main goal of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), which provides an estimate of left atrial pressure, during exercise was not met. But statistically significant improvements were in PCWP during rest as well as 6-minute walk distance versus placebo. The company’s shares $TENX shot up about 56% to $2.26.
→ Just months after Menlo Therapeutics suffered defeat in two late-stage studies, the company has a taste of good news. A mid-stage study testing its acne drug, FCD105, met the main goal in patients with moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris. The company, which merged with Foamix last year, expects to meet with the FDA to discuss the next steps for the topical minocycline-based combination product by the end of the year.