Sector News

Sellas mulling ‘strategic options’ to stay afloat, including sale

February 27, 2019
Life sciences

Get involved in the discussion! Click here to comment on this story

Sellas Life Sciences is considering a number of “strategic options” to make sure it can fund its current plan of developing its leading oncology assets, a pair of cancer vaccines. The board is conducting a review of “strategic options focusing on maximizing shareholder value,” options that include selling off the company

Its other choices include a “business combination,” or merger. A new financing or a funded partnership could give Sellas the cash injection it needs to carry its pipeline forward. And the company, which backed onto the Nasdaq in August 2017 through its merger with Galena Biopharma, is considering another reverse merger too.

All of that said, the company gave no timeline for it to make its decision and cautioned in a statement that it may not even pursue any of the options up for consideration.

“We are committed to identifying a strategic plan which will enhance shareholder value while allowing for the acceleration of our development programs, so that our novel immunotherapeutics, GPS [galinpepimut-S] and NPS [nelipepimut-S], may benefit cancer patients,” said Sellas CEO Angelos Stergiou, M.D., Sc.D., in the statement.

Sellas recently kicked off a phase 1/2 combination trial of GPS with Merck’s Keytruda, the company said. It is testing the combo in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as well as those with ovarian cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, small-cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer. It’s also planning a phase 3 study pitting GPS as a single agent against the investigator’s choice of best maintenance therapy in AML patients after they’ve had success with second-line antileukemic therapy.

NPS, also called NeuVax, is in development for triple-negative breast cancer. Sellas is working with the FDA on a trial design for a phase 3 registrational study in that indication.

Sellas picked up NeuVax in its merger with Galena, which, at the time, was floundering. In April of that year, Galena was among 27 companies and individuals charged by the SEC over allegations of fraudulent promotion of stocks. In addition to some executive musical chairs, Galena had also run into some clinical setbacks, including the halt of a phase 3 test of NeuVax in breast cancer due to futility. In July 2017, Galena was weighing its own “strategic alternatives,” including licensing out or selling its assets, selling the company itself, or merging with another company.

By Amirah Al Idrus

Source: Fierce Biotech

Join the discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related News

November 18, 2019

Bristol-Myers’ $74B Celgene buy wins antitrust nod in FTC party-line split vote

Life sciences

LinkedIn Twitter FacebookIndustry watchers largely expected that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene would win U.S. antitrust clearance for their $74 billion merger. But what’s perhaps unexpected is that the permission was […]

November 18, 2019

Novartis pivots Shanghai R&D site from early discovery to development

Life sciences

LinkedIn Twitter FacebookNovartis is calling it curtains on early drug discovery at its R&D site in Shanghai in a companywide move to “rebalance” its discovery and early development efforts. The […]

November 15, 2019

Merck builds in CNS diseases with $576m Calporta buy

Life sciences

LinkedIn Twitter FacebookMerck & Co has had mixed fortunes in neurological diseases of late, but remains committed to the category and has just bolstered its early-stage pipeline with a $576 […]

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

We're easy to reach