Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs are among the most widely used medications in the world for pain and inflammation. In fact, more than 33 million Americans use them regularly, and more than 30 billion doses of NSAIDs are administered annually in the U.S., according to MedicineNet. Unfortunately, some 25% of people taking these medicines develop gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding. To combat these side effects, and help fill a very large unmet medical need, Antibe Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:ATE)(OTCQB:ATBPF) is working on next-generation NSAIDs that could offer the same anti-inflammatory properties of current NSAIDs but with a greatly decreased risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Their development pipeline includes a drug for chronic pain and a strong painkiller to replace opioids for postoperative pain. Antibe is also moving toward a potential listing on a senior U.S. exchange, following in the footsteps of growing Canadian biotechs like Aptose Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:APTO), Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIL), and Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE:ZYME).
Antibe Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:ATE)(OTCQB:ATBPF) BREAKING NEWS: Antibe Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage company leveraging its unique hydrogen sulfide platform to develop safer medicines for pain and inflammation, today announced the appointment of Robert E. Hoffman and Jennifer McNealey to its Board of Directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Jennifer and Robert to our team,” said Walt Macnee, Chair of Antibe’s Board of Directors. “Both are highly accomplished biotechnology executives, with significant experience in U.S. capital markets, public company governance and financial operations – all of which will be invaluable to Antibe as we move toward a potential listing on a senior U.S. exchange in parallel with large market partnering efforts.”
Until his retirement last month, Mr. Hoffman was Chief Financial Officer of San Diego-based Heron Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed commercial stage drug developer with a pipeline of acute pain therapeutics. During his tenure at Heron, the company raised more than $650 million and launched its second commercial drug product. His career in the sector began in 1997 at Arena Pharmaceuticals, where he rose to become CFO, holding that position for ten years. While at Arena, he was involved with its IPO and financings raising more than $1.5 billion. Mr. Hoffman is currently a member of the boards of three NASDAQ-listed pharmaceutical companies: Kura Oncology, Kintara Therapeutics (as Chairman) and ASLAN Pharmaceuticals; he previously served as a board member for three other publicly listed biotechnology companies. Trained as a Certified Public Accountant, he is a longstanding member of the Small Business Advisory Committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Mr. Hoffman is also a founding board member of Day for Change, which has funded charities serving underprivileged and abused children in the San Diego area for 20 years.
Mr. Hoffman commented, “I’m excited to join Antibe’s board. The market opportunity for safer, non-opioid pain therapeutics has never been greater. And with otenaproxesul moving into its Phase III program, the company’s strategic opportunities are also expanding. It’s a great time to work with Antibe’s impressive team to capture the full potential of a uniquely promising drug pipeline and platform.”
Ms. McNealey is a senior financial and strategy executive with a considerable breadth of experience in the biotechnology sector, as an analyst, portfolio manager, information provider and expert in corporate communications and investor relations. She is currently Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategy for South San Francisco-based Calithera Biosciences, a clinical stage developer of small molecule oral therapies targeting a range of cancers and other life-threatening diseases. Ms. McNealey began her career as a healthcare equity analyst, transitioning to management of biopharmaceutical-focused investment funds for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Advisors, Amerindo Investment Advisors and latterly at Franklin Templeton, where she co-managed the Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund. She subsequently founded Laurient LLC, an independent equity research and competitive intelligence platform analyzing publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies. Since 2013, Ms. McNealey has served on the board of Enzon Pharmaceuticals. She earned her B.A. and Master of Health Administration degrees from Cornell University.
Ms. McNealey remarked, “The severe shortcomings of today’s pain medications constitute one of the world’s most pressing medical needs. Patients deserve better. Antibe’s novel drug platform is a promising way forward – I am delighted to be a part of it.”
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Aptose Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:APTO), a clinical-stage company developing highly differentiated agents that target the underlying mechanisms of cancer, announced financial results and a corporate update for the three months ended September 30, 2020. The net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 was $13.3 million ($0.15 per share) compared with $6.8 million ($0.12 per share) for the quarter ended September 30, 2019. Total cash and cash equivalents and investments as of September 30, 2020 were $132.7 million. Based on current operations, we expect that cash on hand provides the Company with sufficient resources to fund all planned operations including research and development into 2023.
Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIL), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer, reported financial and operating results for the nine months ended September 30, 2020. “Third quarter was a productive quarter for Trillium,” said Jan Skvarka, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We reported encouraging clinical data updates for both TTI-622 and TTI-621, announced a $25 million equity investment from Pfizer, raised $150 million in a follow-on offering, and added Dr. Michael Kamarck to the Board of Directors. After the close of the third quarter, we announced formation of a Scientific Advisory Board, appointment of Dr. Ingmar Bruns as our new Chief Medical Officer, and addition of Mr. Paolo Pucci to the Board of Directors. With close to $300 million in cash, we are well capitalized to embark on a Phase 2 program in heme and solid tumor malignancies in 2021.”
Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE:ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional biotherapeutics, announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted Orphan Drug designation for zanidatamab, the company’s investigational HER2-targeted bispecific antibody, in patients with gastric cancer. “We are encouraged by the European Commission’s and European Medicines Agency’s recognition of the benefit that zanidatamab can provide in the treatment of HER2-expressing gastric cancers as we continue to expand our clinical development globally,” said Diana Hausman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Zymeworks.
Heron Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:HRTX), a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of patients by developing best-in-class treatments to address some of the most important unmet patient needs, announced that the New Drug Application (NDA) was resubmitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for HTX-011, an investigational agent for the management of postoperative pain. The NDA for HTX-011 was resubmitted based on the outcome and final minutes of a Type A End-of-Review meeting with the FDA in September, which was conducted to obtain clarity on the information needed to address the Complete Response Letter (CRL) issued by the FDA in June 2020.
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