BIND accepts Pfizer bid following bankruptcy


Following its bankruptcy, BIND Therapeutics has accepted Pfizer’s $20 million stalking horse bid prior to an auction to sell off the company’s assets.

The $20 million bid will see Pfizer acquire the majority of the struggling biotech’s assets if the company is selected as the successful bidder.

Andrew Hirsch, BIND Therapeutics CEO, had been mulling over the sale of the Cambridge, Massachusetts company for some time now, reportedly actively seeking a ‘big immuno-oncology partner’ following mixed results for its lead cancer candidate Bind-014.

Bind-014 is a PSMA-targeted docetaxel nanoparticle drug which falls under BIND’s own ACCURINS therapy platform. The company touts the group of therapies as ‘the evolution of targeted therapies and nanomedicine’, with the intent to create a drug that has a prolonged circulation alongside the ability to specifically target cancerous tissue whilst preserving healthy surrounding cells.

The ACCURINS technology relies on hydrophobic ion pairing to improve the therapeutic index of a molecularly targeted anti-cancer drug, as opposed to traditional nanomedicine attempts which encapsulate chemotherapy payloads.

Results from the phase 2 iNSITE 1 trial, where Bind-014 was tested in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of squamous histology, and the iNSITE 2 trial, where Bind-014 was investigated in advanced cervical and head and neck cancers, were not impressive, demonstrating similar efficacy as chemotherapy options in both trials.

The company then decided to continue testing Bind-014 in NSCLC, and cut 38% of its workforce in an attempt to save money, leading to its search for a large collaborative body to help further fund its research.

Regardless of the poor results, Hirsch insisted on the efficacy of the company’s ACCURINS technology, citing drug payload as the main reason for underwhelming results as opposed to the way the nanoparticles worked.

The company currently has various ongoing collaborations with other pharma bodies, including lead bidder Pfizer with which it has developed a targeted kinase inhibitor currently in investigational new drug (IND) enabling stage of testing. AZD-2811, an aurora B kinase inhibitor developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca, is the second-most developed drug BIND has in the pipeline, currently in phase 1.

A CD-206 targeting molecule co-developed with Macrophage Therapeutics, and a GC-C targeting candidate developed with Synergy Pharmaceuticals are the only other external collaborations in the pipeline, both of which sit at the discovery stage of development.

BIND has requested the US Bankruptcy Court to proceed with an auction for the majority of its assets on 25 July, provided the company receives qualified overbids no later than 22 July.

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Marco Ricci

4 July, 2016