Buoyed by new obesity data, Structure files $476m offering

Kostiantyn Li

Riding high from positive clinical trial results for its oral weight-loss therapy, Structure Therapeutics has filed a public offering that it hopes will raise $476 million. 

The offer comes just a couple of days after San Francisco-based Structure reported that a once-daily oral dose of GLP-1 agonist GSBR-1290 resulted in a placebo-adjusted 6.2% reduction in weight after 12 weeks in the 64-patient phase 2a trial.

Two-thirds of patients taking the drug saw at least a 6% reduction, while a third of them saw their weight fall by 10%, according to Structure, which saw its share price spike on the readout as speculation built that it could become a takeover target. None of the placebo group achieved that level of weight loss.

The stock is now running at a value of around $56 per share, giving it a valuation of more than $2.6 billion. That has returned it to a level not seen since the end of last year, before an earlier readout from the trial spooked investors amid comparisons with injectable GLP-1 drugs for obesity like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound (tirzepatide).

At that time, eight-week data from the trial in around 40 subjects pointed to a 4.7% reduction in weight, which Structure said was clinically meaningful, as well as reductions in blood sugar marker HbA1c.

The company is now preparing to start a 36-week phase 2b trial later this year, which the new offering will help to finance, although Structure still has plenty of money in the kitty and ended the first quarter with a cash position of almost $440 million.

The company is also running a study of a new tablet formulation of GSBR-1290 that will replace the current capsule formulation and said this week that the new version achieved 6.9% weight loss at 12 weeks. The tablet form will be tested in the phase 2b study.

As with other GLP-1-targeting drugs, the main side effects were gastrointestinal, including nausea and vomiting, and there has been no sign so far of liver toxicity that has been observed with some other oral GLP-1 candidates, including Pfizer’s now discontinued lotiglipron.

Pfizer has switched its attention to a once-daily formulation of another GLP-1 drug, danuglipron, while Novo Nordisk has an oral version of semaglutide in the pipeline and an oralGLP-1/amylin therapy, dubbed amycretin, in phase 1. Lilly meanwhile is working on GLP-1 drug orforglipron as well as retatrutide, which targets GLP-1, GIP, and glucagon.

All of those are further ahead than GSBR-1290 in development, as they are either already in or approaching phase 3 testing.

Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash