Sector News

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

February 27, 2019
Life sciences

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

comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach