Chris Giordano, Tenax Therapeutics CEO

Trou­bled times: With its back against the wall, lit­tle Tenax sends out an SOS while IMV takes out the bud­get axe, chops staff

The tal­ly of re­struc­tur­ings in biotech con­tin­ued to go up to­day with news from two small play­ers that are in fi­nan­cial hot wa­ter.

Tenax Ther­a­peu­tics may be down to its fi­nal cri­sis.

Af­ter years of spikes and plunges, the share price has long been flat­lined in pen­ny stock ter­ri­to­ry. And with dwin­dling cash and a “go­ing con­cern” alert in its SEC fil­ings, the ex­ec­u­tive crew is do­ing what it can to see about set­ting up a deal of some kind — and every­thing, in­clud­ing a sale, is on the ta­ble.

With a nanocap mar­ket val­ue un­der $6 mil­lion and a stock that trades for pen­nies, pre­sum­ably any­one who wants any or all of the out­fit could pick it up at a bar­gain base­ment price.

In the mean­time, Tenax $TENX has de­cid­ed to de­lay a planned late-stage study of an oral ver­sion of Gleevec, shov­ing the start date from lat­er this year in­to 2023. They al­so have a “Phase III-ready” drug, oral lev­osi­men­dan, in the pipeline.

For now, the board says the bat­tered stock price doesn’t re­flect the re­al val­ue of the com­pa­ny. But its op­tions are dwin­dling at a time pub­lic biotechs are find­ing Nas­daq is suck­ing down a host of play­ers in the same po­si­tion.

An­drew Hall

In the mean­time, the Cana­di­an biotech IMV says that it will axe a third of its staff so the com­pa­ny can con­tin­ue on with their clin­i­cal work, most promi­nent­ly a Phase IIB tri­al for DL­B­CL and an­oth­er in metasta­t­ic ovar­i­an can­cer.

As part of the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion, Saman Male­ki has joined the board and the com­pa­ny pro­mot­ed Brit­tany Davi­son to chief ac­count­ing of­fi­cer. CEO An­drew Hall is chalk­ing it up to max­i­miz­ing share­hold­er val­ue.

“We have made the de­ci­sion to strate­gi­cal­ly re­con­fig­ure IMV in or­der to max­i­mize share­hold­er val­ue and fo­cus re­sources on dri­ving to near-term val­ue-cre­at­ing mile­stones,” Hall said.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: No­var­tis re­cruits NFL coach for Leqvio cam­paign; Pfiz­er pro­motes ‘Sci­ence’ merch on so­cial me­dia

Novartis is turning to a winning coach to talk about Leqvio and the struggles of high cholesterol — including his own. Bruce Arians, the retired NFL head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is partnering with the pharma for its “Coaching Cholesterol” digital, social and public relations effort.

In the campaign, Arians talks about the potential for “great comebacks” in football and heart health. Once nicknamed a “quarterback whisperer,” he is now retired from fulltime coaching (although still a front-office consultant for Tampa Bay), and did a round of media interviews for Novartis, including one with People and Forbes.

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Amy West, Novo Nordisk head of US digital innovation and transformation (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: No­vo Nordisk dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion chief Amy West dis­cuss­es phar­ma pain points and a health­care 'easy but­ton’

Amy West joined Novo Nordisk more than a decade ago to oversee marketing strategies and campaigns for its US diabetes portfolio. However, her career path shifted into digital, and she hasn’t looked back. West went from leading Novo’s first digital health strategy in the US to now heading up digital innovation and transformation.

She’s currently leading the charge at Novo Nordisk to not only go beyond the pill with digital marketing and health tech, but also test, pilot and develop groundbreaking new strategies needed in today’s consumerized healthcare world.

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Benjamine Liu, TrialSpark CEO

Paul Hud­son and Tri­alSpark's mu­tu­al de­sire to speed up de­vel­op­ment con­verges in three-year, six-drug goal

A unicorn startup that originally set out to hasten clinical studies for biopharma partners dug further into its revised path of internal drug development by linking arms with Sanofi in a pact that the biotech’s CEO said originated from the top.

TrialSpark and the Big Pharma on Tuesday committed to in-licensing and/or acquiring six Phase II/Phase III drugs within the next three years.

“I’ve known Paul Hudson for a while and we were discussing the opportunity to really re-imagine a lot of different parts of pharma,” TrialSpark CEO Benjamine Liu told Endpoints News, “and one of the things that we discussed was this opportunity to accelerate the development of new medicines in mutual areas of interest.”

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New Chroma Medicine board member Jeff Marrazzo

Jeff Mar­raz­zo has found a buzzy new biotech cause to cham­pi­on. And once again, he's all in

Jeff Marrazzo is one of those biotech execs who has always been focused on the next big goal. He has a track record for meeting objectives, relentlessly staying on message, and breaking new ground.

The fact that he stayed around for a couple of years after Roche’s $4.3 billion Spark buyout, making sure the organization he founded weathered Covid-19, is one example. And that came after he carefully guided the company to the first-ever US approval of a gene therapy — no easy task.

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Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO (AstraZeneca via YouTube)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca nabs a small rare dis­ease gene ther­a­py play­er for 667% pre­mi­um

AstraZeneca is kicking off the fourth quarter with a little M&A Monday for a gene editing player recently overcoming a second clinical hold to its only program in human studies.

The Big Pharma and its subsidiary Alexion are buying out little LogicBio for $2.07 per share. That’s good for a massive 667% premium over its Friday closing price, when it headed into the weekend at 27 cents and just weeks after Nasdaq said LogicBio would have to delist, which has been put on hold as the biotech requests a hearing. It’s one of two biotech deals to commence October, alongside the news of Incyte buying a vitiligo-focused biotech.

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Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Can a smart­phone app de­tect Covid? Pfiz­er throws down $116M to find out

What can a cough say about a patient’s illness? Quite a bit, according to ResApp Health — and Pfizer’s listening.

The pharma giant is shelling out about $116 million ($179 million AUD) to scoop up the University of Queensland spinout and its smartphone technology that promises to diagnose Covid and other respiratory illnesses based on cough and breathing sounds, the university announced last week.

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