Unity's early longevity data look 'encouraging'; Adaptive Biotechnologies looks to raise $200M in IPO
→ Bob Nelsen-backed longevity startup Unity $UBX on Tuesday unveiled the first ever in-human data on its drug, UBX0101, which is designed to delay the aging process by snuffing senescent (old) cells. The first part (A) of the small Phase I study tested multiple doses of the osteoarthritis drug against a placebo — while the second portion (B) evaluated the highest 4 mg dose of UBX0101 versus a placebo. The main goal of the study was safety and tolerability, which was met. In terms of secondary goals such as pain, data from part A were positive, with signs of improvements in pain and functional scores. Part B results were numerically superior in terms of pain and functionality, but not deemed statistically significant. “Our conclusion from the Part A data measurements are encouraging… For Part B, we believe more frequent dosing and longer-term observation could lead to improvements across the pain and function scales,” Cantor Fitzgerald analysts wrote in a note entitled “Proof Of Concept: Check, but More Work is Still to Be Done.”
→ Seattle-based genetic test maker Adaptive Biotechnologies on Monday broke out the terms of its IPO. The company — which monitors and enables the treatment of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions and infectious diseases — has two commercial products and others in the pipeline to diagnose. It said in a filing that it plans to raise $200 million by offering 12.5 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “$ADPT.”
→ While the few drug developers in the antibiotic space struggle to keep afloat and agonize over the scarce incentives in place designed to encourage drug development, UK’s Summit Therapeutics $SMMT is hoping its destiny is different. The drug developer — which is in the latter stages of developing its antibiotic, ridinilazole, to tackle the stubborn C. difficile infection (a prime target of the fecal microbiota transplant and “crapsule” field) — on Tuesday said that BARDA has enhanced its award for the clinical and regulatory development of ridinilazole to up to $63.7 million.
→ While Intrexon $XON (and UK unit Oxitec) works on eradicating Zika using its bioengineered self-limiting Aedes aegypti mosquito, it has also muscled its way into the omnipresent cannabis business. On Tuesday, the company said it had inked a deal with Surterra Wellness worth up to $100 million. Under the partnership, Intrexon’s yeast fermentation technology will be employed to make Surterra’s cannabinoids production cost-effective — Intrexon is on track to realize the production of pure cannabinoids at a target cost of goods of <$1,000/kg, it said. “With Intrexon, Surterra will be a leader in bringing to market products featuring rare cannabinoids that are traditionally too challenging to commercialize via agricultural methods, delivering to patients and consumers highly credible natural remedies as we challenge incumbents in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical space,” said Jay Holmes, executive director of strategy at Surterra Wellness, in a statement. This the second deal between the two companies this year.
→ Gene therapy developer Abeona Therapeutics has notched a fast track designation for its orphan drug ABO-202, which is designed to treat CLN1 disease, also known as infantile Batten disease. It does so by delivering a functional copy of the PPT1 gene to patients who are unable to produce a crucial lysosomal enzyme.
→ The FDA has expanded the use of Novo Nordisk’s Victoza to a much younger population. The old GLP-1 analog is now approved to treat patients with type 2 diabetes as young as 10 at a time more than 5,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed in youth under age 20 every year, the agency said.