Replimune looks to rope in $225M on the back of melanoma data
The Massachusetts-based, oncolytic virus biotech Replimune is feeling bullish now that it has lifted the cover on data for its lead product.
Replimune said Thursday it looks to nab about $225 million from a public offering after giving a snapshot of some initial data from its IGNYTE clinical study earlier this week. The trial is investigating RP1 in combination with Opdivo, for patients with melanoma and who did not have a response when being treated with a PD-1.
The data, which come from the first 75 patients out of a total of 125, show an overall response rate (ORR) of 36%. A prior Phase II cohort of 16 patients, presented in June, showed an ORR of 37.5%. The complete response rate disclosed this week was 20%.
The biotech further stated that the data demonstrate “systemic activity, with both injected and in un-injected lesion responding, including in un-injected visceral disease.” Most of the responses were also seen in patients who did not respond to prior anti-PD1 therapy.
In a statement, Replimune CEO Philip Astley-Sparke said the data, combined with previous IGNYTE cohorts, “gives us high confidence we will be able to realize our ambition of establishing a broad skin cancer franchise with RP1.”
The good news has been music to investors’ ears as the company’s share price $REPL has increased from around $18 a share on Wednesday, when the snapshot was released, to over $24 on Friday.
Replimune first jumped onto the exchange in July 2018 with a $100 million IPO. In October, the biotech inked a $200 million loan from Hercules Capital over the next five years, extending its cash into 2025.
For the company’s other major targets, called RP2 and RP3, Replimune is still looking to go ahead with them and pursue a Phase II development plan, with the targets aiming to treat patients with liver cancer.