Abivax, a Paris-based biotech that acquired the rights to three commercial, Cuban-made vaccines in November, is gearing up for a €43.6 million ($49 million) IPO to take its hepatitis B candidate into Phase III. The cash will also go toward an HIV drug.
Abivax, an emissary of Cuba's well-regarded but closed-off biotech sector, is raising money to fund clinical trials of a hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine was discovered by Cuba's Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and is now on the cusp of making the leap from the island to the wider world.
Abivax has filed the paperwork for an IPO in Paris. The listing is intended to give Abivax the cash to fund mid- to late-phase trials of its two lead candidates, a therapeutic vaccine against hepatitis B and a small-molecule inhibitor of HIV replication.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals has paired up with Ichor Medical Systems to develop and market DNA-based vaccine products to treat chronic hepatitis B. The partners will use the startup's TriGrid electroporation technology for clinical administration of a DNA vaccine.
RNAi specialist Tekmira Pharmaceuticals expanded its reach with the announcement of the purchase of OnCore Biopharma, developer of an all-oral candidate for hepatitis B, saying that a combination therapy approach is the optimal way to treat that disease.
Arrowhead Research Corporation is looking to add another entrant into the clinical trial-based race to commercialize the first RNAi-based compound, a market category that could become a new class of drugs akin to monoclonal antibodies and produce revenues exceeding $1 billion by 2020 according to one projection. The company recently announced that it has submitted its Investigational New Drug application for its RNAi candidate, ARC-520, for the treatment of the chronic hepatitis B virus.
Alnylam today announced the addition of RNA interference therapies for the hepatitis delta virus and chronic liver infections to its clinical pipeline at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston. The company also said it remains on track to select a candidate for its hepatitis B program by the end of the year and hopes to file an investigational new drug application with the FDA in late 2015.
Arrowhead Research watched its shares nose-dive after a peek at Phase II data on its in-development treatment for hepatitis B revealed that the RNAi therapy isn't measuring up to its preclinical promise.
Arrowhead Research reported on Aug. 12 that patients in its Phase II clinical trial of the ARC-520 RNA interference candidate for hepatitis B had a "similar" knockdown to those reported in primate studies. The stock price fell at the very end of the trading day to close at $12.00 from an opening-day price of $13.00.
The drug is approved for treating--not preventing--hepatitis B, prompting FDA to call the advert misleading.