Pivotal failure crumbles stock for Michigan’s once-promising Millendo
Even by pandemic standards, it was a tough Monday for Millendo.
The biotech startup that once grabbed a $62 million Series B out of Michigan — back when $62 million was still a head-turning Series B — for its endocrine platform saw its stock flatline after a pivotal trial failure for its lead drug.
In a Phase IIb trial, livoletide failed to help patients with Prader-Willi syndrome improve on key symptoms of the rare disorder. The syndrome, caused by the absence or deletion of the father’s chromosome 15, leads to hormonal imbalance that can cause hypheragia — an abnormally increased appetite. Livoletide failed to improve hyperphagia or other eating-related behaviors.
Millendo announced they would be retiring the compound. Amid the pandemic, though, they offered little timeline for the rest of their pipeline.
“Moving forward, we will shift our development focus to compelling portfolio programs nevanimibe for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and MLE-301 for menopausal vasomotor symptoms,” CEO Julia Owens said in a statement. “With the rapidly evolving COVID-19 global pandemic and the extraordinary burden it has put on hospitals and healthcare providers, we are monitoring the potential impact of the situation on these programs and will provide an update when we have more clarity on expected timelines.”
Investors will evidently wait for that update, or better data. Millendo’s stock tumbled 70% from $4.85 to $1.45, completing a slow decline since they reverse-merged on to the market at around $12 per share in August of 2018.
The CAH program is in Phase IIb trial, while MLE-301 is in preclinical development.