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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Ra Pharma Earns Milestone, Aimmune Doses Patient In Egg Allergy Trial, Cara In-Licenses Platform

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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Ra Pharma Earns Milestone, Aimmune Doses Patient In Egg Allergy Trial, Cara In-Licenses Platform

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on Aug. 20)

  • Atreca Inc (NASDAQ: BCEL)
  • Bioanalytical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BASI)
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. Class A Common Stock (NYSE: BIO)
  • Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CPRX)
  • DexCom, Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM)
  • Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT)(reported above-consensus first-quarter results)
  • Stoke Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: STOK) (announced enrollment of first patient in an observational study of children and adolescents ages 2 to 18 with Dravet syndrome)

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week lows on Aug. 20)

  • AnaptysBio Inc (NASDAQ: ANAB)
  • ASLAN PHARMACEU/ADR (NASDAQ: ASLN)
  • Assertio Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ASRT)
  • Elanco Animal Health Inc (NYSE: ELAN)(announced a deal to buy Bayer AG (OTC: BAYRY)'s animal health business for $7.6 billion in cash and stock
  • Eyegate Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: EYEG)
  • KemPharm Inc (NASDAQ: KMPH)
  • Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO)
  • Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR)
  • Nuvectra Corp (NASDAQ: NVTR)
  • Psychemedics Corp. (NASDAQ: PMD)
  • STRATA Skin Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: SSKN
  • Synlogic Inc (NASDAQ: SYBX)(pulled the plug on a mid-stage asset for lowering ammonia)
  • Trinity Biotech plc (NASDAQ: TRIB)(reported a 10% drop in Q2 revenues)

Stocks In Focus

Ra Medical Earns Clinical Milestone From Merck For Phase 1 Asset

RA Pharma (NASDAQ: RARX) said it has earned a clinical development milestone under its 2013-collaboration agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) following the dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1 trial evaluating an investigational orally-available macrocyclic peptide for a non-complement cardiovascular target.

"I'm extremely excited to have reached this significant milestone, which notably marks the second compound from Ra's Extreme Diversity™ platform to enter human clinical testing," said Doug Treco, CEO of Ra Pharma.

Aimmune Enrolls First Patient In Mid-Stage Trial For Egg Allergy Drug

Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT) announced enrolment of first patient in a Phase 2 trial evaluating its AR201 for treating egg allergy. AR201 is an investigational biological drug for use in oral immunotherapy for egg allergy.

"The initiation of our first phase 2 clinical trial of AR201 in children, adolescents and young adults with egg allergy marks an important milestone toward our goal of being the leader in the development and delivery of approved treatments for food allergy," said Jayson Dallas, CEO of Aimmune.

Cara In-licenses Platform For Oral Korsuva Drug Development

Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CARA) and Enteris BioPharma announced a definitive licensing agreement for the latter's Peptelligence technology in the ongoing development of an oral formulation of Cara's first-in-class KOR agonist, Korsuva. Korsuva is currently being evaluated in three separate Phase 2 trials for pruritis in patients with hepatic impairment due to primary biliary cholangitis, stage III-V chronic kidney disease, and atopic dermatitis.

Enteris stands to receive an upfront payment of $8 million, with 50% payable in cash and 50% payable in shares of Cara's common stock, as well as certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones payments and low-single digit royalties based on net sales in licensed territory.

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