Patient dies in a troubled HBV drug program — forcing developers to scrap the drug and shift focus. To STING
Things have just gone from bad to worse at Hopkinton, MA-based Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals.
Researchers say that a patient died in their Phase IIb study of inarigivir for hep B — and they’re scrapping the work and shifting focus to STING.
News of the patient death came just weeks after the biotech told investors that safety problems marked by potential liver damaging hepatocellular dysfunction and increases of ALT forced them to halt dosing over the Christmas break. That pause caused 1 rout for their share price, which once traded north of $18 a share.
The latest rout followed the news Wednesday morning. The stock $SBPH tanked, dropping 26% more and leaving the share price just above the $1 mark.
Spring Bank’s work in STING covers both antagonists for inflammatory conditions and agonists for cancer.
The STING strategy may not sit well with backers, though, as it has experienced several setbacks at other developers interested in seeing its efficacy in oncology.
The biotech now plans to put its chimeric oligonucleotide antisense (CASO) program for HBV up for a licensing deal while slashing any HBV costs in the budget. “The company believes its $54.5 million cash position as of Dec. 31 will be enough to fund operations into late 2022.”