PPD, Schrödinger, Beam set terms for IPO; FDA expands use of Merck's Dificid
→ With slower rates of patient enrollment than expected for their Phase III trial of its PARP inhibitor pamiparib vs placebo — as a therapy in patients with inoperable locally advanced or metastatic gastric cancer who have responded to platinum-based first line chemotherapy — BeiGene is converting the trial to a Phase II. Patient enrollment began in July 2018 and the company has thus far registered approximately 120 patients globally.
→ More than 8 years ago in a $3.9 billion deal, PPD was taken private, but now the company has launched its IPO by offering 60 million shares of its common stock. The expected price per share is between $24 and $27. The company plans to list under the symbol $PPD.
The offering is being made through an underwriting group led by bookrunning managers: Barclays, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, Evercore ISI, HSBC and Mizuho Securities are acting as joint bookrunning managers. Baird, William Blair and Drexel Hamilton are acting as co-managers.
→ Drug discovery software player Schrödinger has set the terms for its IPO. The New York-based company is offering 10 million shares at $14 to $16 each — which would see it raise about $160 million at the top of that range. Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities, Jefferies and BMO Capital Markets are underwriting the deal. It plans to list under the symbol $SGDR.
→ Following a four-month wait, the gene editing experts at Beam Therapeutics finally have the terms for their $100 million IPO: 6.3 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17. At the midpoint of that range, the startup — founded by pioneers Feng Zhang, David Liu and Keith Joung — would command a fully diluted market value of $686 million, according to Renaissance Capital.
→ Eli Lilly‘s JAK inhibitor Olumiant, whose addressable patient population has been nixed by safety concerns, helped patients in an atopic dermatitis late-stage study, the company reported on Monday. Initially rejected by the US agency for use in rheumatoid arthritis due to data that showed a clear correlation with thrombotic events or platelet increases — the drug was eventually given the green light for the lower dose. Lilly’s partner, Incyte, in 2019 elected to walk away from co-funding the drug’s development as fears about the benefit-risk profile of the class of drugs accumulated. “Olumiant has limited potential in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, given the success of Regeneron/ Sanofi’s Dupixent (which we view as much safer), and the potential for other novel selective JAK inhibitors (e.g., Pfizer’s abrocitinib) which may have a better risk/ benefit profile,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note.
→ Nearly a decade after scoring approval for Dificid to treat C. diff-associated diarrhea in adult patients — Merck, one of the few remaining big pharma players to linger in the beleaguered field of antibiotics, has convinced the FDA to expand the use of the drug in children aged six months and older.