Thursday, March 9, 2017

CTP-656 Sold to Vertex Pharmaceuticals for $250 Million

Very nice news from Concert Pharmaceuticals on Monday March 6th.  CTP-656 for cystic fibrosis nets $160 million upfront, and another $90 million in milestones for the sale to Vertex Pharmaceuticals, closing by October 31st.  This deal gives Concert around $250 million (in present terms) cash on hand, with a cash runway into 2021.   The focus will be CTP-543 for Alopecia Areata, and to broaden their future pipeline.  With the upfront $160 million, the company will have around $11.50 per share in cash, zero debt.  Below is a 60 minute chart of CNCE.  The stock has gained 76% this week through Thursday. 

Bottom Line:
A well timed move by management to get the cash without diluting shares at extremely undervalued prices.  The future now is with CTP-543 for the initial indication of unmet need Alopecia Areata, and potentially others to follow.  Thank you for reading.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

GLPG2451 for Cystic Fibrosis

Galapagos is aggressively pursuing drugs for people living with cystic fibrosis.  We previously wrote about Galapagos extensively here Galapagos.  Their previous top candidate, potentiator GLPG1837, has now been put on hold for a much more convenient once daily dosed potentiator GLPG2451.  The drug has completed the safety phase 1 clinical trial in healthy subjects, and by Galapagos standards was viewed as ready for a phase 1 combo trial with their lead corrector GLPG2222.  The ultimate goal for the company is to develop a triple combination for people with the F508del mutation, which represents around 90% of the total CF population.  The phase 1 and 2 clinical trials are being funded almost 100% by their partner AbbVie.  If this phase 1 combo clinical trial passes the safety test, then a third component corrector GLPG2737, which is currently in the safety phase of testing, will then be added to the combo 2451 and 2222 to form the triple.  The big picture goal is to produce a better therapy than currently approved Vertex's two drug combo Orkambi.  A once daily triple combo would be advantageous for CF patients that may take up to 20-40 pills per day for this disease. 

Interim Analysis of 2451 and 2222
According to Galapagos, an interim analysis will be conducted on the combo mid-year.  If the combo passes the safety test, then corrector #2 GLPG2737 will then be added to the mix, and the three drugs will be tested for CF patients with F508del around third quarter of 2017.  So, by the end of 2017, the first triple combination (one potentiator, and two correctors) will be tested.  However, if the current phase 1 clinical trial with 2451 and 2222, does not produce an acceptable drug/drug interaction safety profile in healthy participants, then the entire project would be delayed.   

CTP-656  in Phase 2
Concert Pharmaceuticals CTP-656 is currently in a phase 2 clinical trial as mono-therapy for CF patients harboring the G551D mutation.  The drug is dosed once daily, and has shown head to head comparison's with Kalydeco in several early clinical trials with PK advantage.  The drug could fit nicely into the mix for a combo also, with two correctors, dosed as one simplified daily pill for F508del CF patients. 

Bottom Line
We'll monitor progress of the Galapagos combo clinical trial (2451 + 2222), and CTP656's phase 2 clinical trial that is scheduled to complete by the end of 2017.  Thank you for reading. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Concert Pharmaceuticals Upcoming Event Sheet

Busy time for events and clinical trial updates for the company in the next couple of months.
  • Fourth quarter conference call, within next two weeks
  • Progress of CTP-656 with FDA
  • Start date for CTP-543
  • Cowen conference March 6-8
  • Roth conference March 12-15
  • Barclays conference March 14-16
  • TEVA Pharmaceuticals FDA approval date (first deuterated drug)
  • AVP-786 Residual Schizophrenia phase 2 clinical trial nearing complete April
The most important from above, is the progress of CTP-656 with the FDA, and the start of phase 2 clinical trial with CTP-543 for Alopecia Areata, which was previously guided for the first quarter of 2017.  Thank you for reading.    


Saturday, January 21, 2017

CTP-656 Receives Orphan Drug Designation

Concert Pharmaceuticals received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA in press release here, Orphan Drug Designation for CTP-656 for the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis.  The significance of this, is that CTP-656 could receive up to seven years of marketing exclusivity, and even more importantly, gets FDA assistance in clinical trial design.  Orphan Drug Designation is given to a disease or condition that affects less than 200,000 people in the U.S.  Thank you for reading.


Saturday, January 14, 2017


CTP-543 is the deuterated version of FDA approved drug Ruxolitinib, which is approved for myelofibrosis, and polycythemia vera.  Concert Pharmaceuticals plans to address unmet need Alopecia Areata with CTP-543.  Proof of concept was confirmed with this academic clinical trial, by Columbia University here JCI.  The company will be in a phase 2 clinical trial with around 100 participants beginning in the first quarter of 2017, with readout by the end of year.  Thank you for reading.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Super Refractory Status Epilepticus (SRSE)

Sage Therapeutics - SAGE, is currently in phase 3 for unmet need (SRSE) with drug SAGE-547.   SRSE is a rare neurological condition, and a sub-type of Status Epilepticus (SE), which is a prolonged seizure.  A diagram from this link explains the stages. The Treatment of Super-refractory Status Epilepticus.

Click to Enlarge 
SAGE Therapeutics has a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the FDA for this phase 3 clinical trial.  The company mentioned, that Refractory Status Epilepticus (RSE) has up to 50% response rate, and that (SRSE) has approximately 35% response rate.  The trial should complete first half of 2017.  Thank you for reading.


Sunday, January 1, 2017


CTP-656 is the name of Concert Pharmaceuticals deuterated version of Vertex's Kalydeco, which is approved for cystic fibrosis patients with the G551D mutation, and as combo with corrector Lumacaftor (known as Orkambi), for patients with the F508del mutation.  The hope is that CTP-656 enhances therapy for cystic fibrosis patients by improving the metabolic profile, reduce dosage to once daily, or ameliorate drug interaction, over currently FDA approved Kalydeco.  Thank you for reading.


Friday, December 30, 2016

SAGE-217 Clinical Trial Progress

Sage Therapeutics' SAGE-217 is the companies next generation oral CNS drug for a variety of indications.  The company has completed the required phase 1 studies, and is now running phase 2, proof of concept clinical trials listed below with expected readout of data.  The four clinical trials can be found at here SAGE-217.

Severe Postpartum Depression - June 2017
Essential Tremor - December 2017
Moderate to Severe Major Depressive Disorder - December 2017
Parkinson's Disease of Moderate Severity - June 2017

Sage Therapeutics has many clinical trials currently running.  The company has $431 million in cash, and patent to 2033.  Thank you for reading. 


Friday, December 23, 2016

GLPG1837 for Cystic Fibrosis

Galapagos released phase 2, SAPHIRA(1) results this week with drug GLPG1837, for Cystic Fibrosis patients with the G551D mutation.  The link to the conference call is here

Some details from the conference call:
  • The company reported similar ppFEV1, in comparison to FDA approved Kalydeco
  • Kalydeco patients at baseline had a sweat chloride reading of around 45 mmol/L
  • After the seven day washout period, the sweat chloride level increased to a mean value of 98 mmol/L*
  • After 28 days, and dosing up to 500 mg GLPG1837 twice daily, sweat chloride fell to 66 mmol/L
  • For patients who exceeded the predicted target concentration, sweat chloride changed from a mean 94 mmol/L to 52 mmol/L
  • Sweat chloride did not fall to the original baseline Kalydeco level, of around 45 mmol/L
  • GLPG1837 was mentioned as being dose limited up to 600 mg twice daily
* The concentration of chloride in sweat is elevated in individuals with CF.

Thank you for reading.


Friday, December 16, 2016

CTP-543 Phase 1 Top-Line Results

Concert Pharmaceuticals announced top-line results this week for CTP-543.  The single and multiple ascending dose study was well-tolerated across all dose groups.  The company is planning on testing four doses (4, 8, 12, and 16 mg BID) in the phase 2 clinical trial scheduled to begin early 2017.  The phase 2 clinical trial will enroll around 100 patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata, with six month readout by the end of 2017.  Thank you for reading.


SAGE-217 Patent Issued

SAGE-217 was issued patent number US 9,512,165 B2, which runs into 2033.  The link to other patent applications can be found here SAGE Patent Applications.  SAGE-217 is the oral version of SAGE-547, and will be running four proof-of-concept, phase 2 clinical trials in 2017.  Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SAGE-547 Expedited Pathway Revealed

We initially wrote about Sage here, SAGE-547.  This week SAGE revealed through this press release Sage Therapeutics, the expedited pathway for drug SAGE-547 for Postpartum Depression.  The important news was that the FDA in agreement with Sage, anticipates that no additional controlled studies will be necessary to file an NDA.  The company believes that they may be able to file for a new drug application for Postpartum Depression in 2018.  If approved by the end of 2019, the company will have patent until around 2034, or approximately 15 years of exclusivity.  Below are the important aspects of the expedited pathway for SAGE-547, agreed upon by the FDA.
  • Current SAGE-547 clinical studies confirmed as appropriate to support registration, if successful
  • No additional efficacy studies expected to be required beyond those currently underway
  • Trial design of studies 202B and 202C are considered appropriate for registration, with increase in size and other minor modifications
  • The primary clinical endpoint for these pivotal trials was unchanged and agree upon with FDA
  • Additional patient safety data may be acquired through an open-label program
Below is a year-to-date chart of SAGE.  Despite the company having an extraordinary year with SAGE-547 the stock is down -4.49% this year.  The company currently has $431 million in cash, or about $13.00 per share in cash.  
Source: Shaw Investments,
Thank you for reading.

Friday, December 2, 2016

CTP-656 Clinical Trial Initiated

CTP-656 for cystic fibrosis patients with CFTR gating mutations is now loaded in the website here NCT02971839.  The phase 2 trial is expected to start enrollment in January of 2017 to avoid the busy holiday season approaching.  The readout completion date is by the end of 2017.  Sweat chloride will be the primary endpoint of the study with FEV1 secondary.  With only 6-8 patients in each arm, the trial is not specifically powered for efficacy, but more likely to compare the three different dosages, and decide which one will be taken further into a phase 3 clinical trial, where FEV1 will be the primary endpoint.

Estimated Enrollment:40
Study Start Date:January 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date:December 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
ArmsAssigned Interventions
Experimental: CTP-656, Dose 1, QD
Oral tablet dosed once-daily for 28 days
Drug: CTP-656, Dose 1 (QD)
Experimental: CTP-656, Dose 2, QD
Oral tablet dosed once-daily for 28 days
Drug: CTP-656, Dose 2 (QD)
Experimental: CTP-656, Dose 3, QD
Oral tablet dosed once-daily for 28 days
Drug: CTP-656, Dose 3 (QD)
Active Comparator: Kalydeco, 150 mg Tablet (open label)
150 mg, oral tablet dosed twice-daily for 28 days
Drug: Kalydeco, 150 mg Tablet (BID; open-label)
Placebo Comparator: Placebo, Oral Tablet, QD
Oral tablet dosed once-daily for 28 days
Drug: Placebo (QD)

Detailed Description:
This is a randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo controlled multicenter study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CTP-656 in CF patients with CFTR gating mutations, compared to Kalydeco, for a total of 28 days. Subjects will be randomized to receive either double-blind CTP-656 or placebo, or open-label Kalydeco.