Despite posting positive phase IIa data, Pliant Therapeutics Inc. stock (NASDAQ:PLRX) took a punch May 1 as shares closed 21% downward at $22.31 each. Still, the stock is in far better shape than it was a year ago when shares were going for about $5 each.
In its $2 billion acquisition of Bellus Health Inc., GSK plc is getting camlipixant, which is being developed to treat refractory chronic cough. The selective P2X3 receptor antagonist is currently in phase I and phase III studies. Bellus will be acquired by GSK for $14.75 per share in cash.
With no treatments available to effectively clear mucus, Aer Therapeutics Inc. secured $36 million in a series A financing to advance its novel inhaled small-molecule mucolytic treatment, AER-01, bringing optimism to about 5 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have a high burden of mucus plugs.
Dupixent (dupilumab) continues to expand its scope, this time potentially leading it and its developers into a new, multibillion dollar blockbuster market. Dupixent hit the primary and all key secondary endpoints in a phase III study of treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Mereo Biopharma Group plc said its path to approval for alvelestat is a phase III study that would preclude an additional confirmatory trial. After meetings with the U.S. FDA and the EMA to discuss next steps, Mereo said it is designing a single, 12- to 18-month, global phase III of the neutrophil elastase inhibitor for treating alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency-associated lung disease.
Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA has agreed to pay Affibody AB up to $214 million in a collaboration and licensing agreement to develop an inhaled treatment for respiratory diseases, with a further $423 million also in the cards if the deal is extended to two more programs. The fees consist of up front and milestone payments, based on certain development, regulatory and commercial achievements, with additional mid-single to low double-digit royalties on sales.
Antibody specialist Jounce Therapeutics Inc. and Redx Pharma plc are to merge in an all-share transaction with a value of $425 million, in a deal that will see Redx’s small-molecule cancer and fibrosis drugs absorbing the lion’s share of the combined cash and its shareholders owning 63% of the combined company.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical Ltd. has out-licensed greater China rights for its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) candidate, bersiporocin (DWN-2088), to CS Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in a deal worth up to $336 million. Bersiporocin is a prolyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor being developed by Daewoong for IPF and potentially other fibrotic indications.
A lack of available options for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is driving plenty of development into the indication. The latest data come from Pliant Therapeutics Inc., which posted positive 12-week interim data from 21 participants in the 320-mg dose group’s active arm and eight in the placebo arm in its phase IIa study of PLN-74809 (bexotegrast).
Pulmobiotics Ltd., which was founded in 2019, is developing cell therapy for lung diseases, including lung cancer. But unlike other cell therapies for cancer, this one is based not on harnessing T cells but on engineering bacteria. The team has engineered Mycoplasma pneumoniae to deliver various therapeutic proteins to the lung, depending on the therapeutic indication.