Swedish-American biotech company Cortendo is buying a pair of Phase II treatments for acromegaly for a total of $35 million, according to FierceBiotech.
Cortendo agreed to pay Aspireo Pharmaceuticals $30 million for somatoprim, or DG3173, a treatment designed to block the excess growth hormone production that characterizes acromegaly. The drug showed positive results on hormone secretion in three Phase I trials, the company said, and held up well against Novartis’ leading acromegaly treatment Sandostatin in Phase II.
Cortendo also is paying $5 million to Australia’s Antisense Therapeutics for ATL1103, a growth hormone-targeting drug that met its primary goal in a Phase II acromegaly study, notes FierceBiotech. The payment breaks down to $3 million in cash and a $2 million equity investment in Antisense Therapeutics, and Cortendo is promising up to $105 million more if ATL1103 comes through on its development and commercial goals. Antisense Therapeutics is retaining the drug in Australia and New Zealand, and the biotech gets to keep the rights to all non-endocrinology applications for ATL1103.
For funding, Cortendo is withdrawing from a $33.2 million private placement and calling on an investor syndicate that includes Longwood Capital, TVM Capital RA Capital and New Enterprise Associates.
In addition, Cortendo is running a Phase III trial on a Cushing disease treatment COR-003, an enhanced version of the now-generic ketoconazole, which is already used off-label for the rare disorder, FierceBiotech says. The firm has come up with a proprietary spin on the drug that makes it safer and better targeted, CEO Matthew Pauls has said, and “Cortendo is now working through a Phase III trial to prove its promise,” adds FierceBiotech.
“The addition of two novel, late-stage investigational compounds for the treatment of rare endocrine disorders, DG3173 and ATL1103, coupled with our existing Phase III asset for endogenous Cushing syndrome, COR-003, establishes the cornerstone of Cortendo’s rare endocrine disease franchise and demonstrates our commitment to becoming a leader in providing innovative therapeutic options to patients with rare diseases,” Pauls says in a statement.