With hit-and-miss data, Allakos goes the public offering route in $150M ask
California-based biotech Allakos, which works on allergies and inflammation-related diseases, is making hay while the sun shines.
Ten days after announcing lukewarm results of its lead drug candidate, the company announced it was seeking $150 million via an underwritten offering of shares of its common stock $ALLK.
The company’s 24-week data from its Phase III trial EoDyssey was investigating its lead drug candidate lirentelimab in patients with confirmed eosinophilic duodenitis — a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by inflammation in the stomach and part of the small intestine.
While the trial met its histologic co-primary endpoint, it did not meet the other, which was patient-reported symptomatic improvement.
Previous studies from December 2021, two separate Phase II/III studies across multiple types of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease, testing lirentelimab had led to similar findings. They showed significant reduction in eosinophil levels in the blood, but no relief in patient symptoms.
Lirentelimab, also known as AK002, is an antibody that targets Siglec-8, an inhibitory receptor part of a family called sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type lectins, aka Siglecs.
While Allakos data readouts haven’t been stellar, the company is still going ahead with the big cash raise. It is following the footsteps of other companies that have cashed in days after dropping data. Recently, Akero issued a public offering less than 12 hours of unveiling promising data in NASH, where a study met both its primary endpoint and multiple secondary endpoints in more than 100 patients.
Allakos, which was founded in 2012, has also decided to move forward with testing lirentelimab in chronic spontaneous urticaria — a form of hives — and atopic dermatitis, an indication that has been the target of many companies and has been dominated by Sanofi/Regeneron’s Dupixent.