The Daily Biotech Pulse: Atea Sinks On Termination Of Roche Contract, Pfizer CFO To Retire, GSK-Vir Bag $1B Contract To Supply COVID Antibody Treatment

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

Stocks In Focus

Atea Announces Termination of Strategic Collaboration With Roche

Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AVIR announced that the strategic collaboration pursuant to which it was jointly developing AT-527 for the treatment of COVID-19 with Roche Holding AG RHHBY will be terminating, effective Feb. 10.

Upon termination, the rights and licenses granted by Atea to Roche under the strategic collaboration will be returned to Atea, and Atea will have full rights to continue the clinical development and future commercialization of AT-527 worldwide.

Atea shares were slipping 14.96% to $9.66 in premarket trading.

Pfizer Veteran Frank D'Amelio to Retire as CFO, Applies For Authorization Of Oral COVID-19 Pill

Pfizer, Inc. PFE announced Frank D'Amelio will retire from his position as chief financial officer and EVP of Global Supply after a nearly 15-year career with the company. Pfizer said it has initiated an external search for a new CFO and D'Amelio has agreed to stay on board through this process and serve in a consulting role through the transition.

The company named Mike McDermott, EVP, Chief Global Supply Officer and said he will join Pfizer's executive leadership team reporting to chairman and chief executive officer, Albert Bourla, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Separately, the company announced it is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization of its investigational oral antiviral candidate, Paxlovid for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients at increased risk of hospitalizations or death.

Pfizer shares were up 0.77% at $49.98 in premarket trading.

Click here to access Benzinga's FDA Calendar

AbbVie's Arthritis Drug Gets Label Expansion In Europe

AbbVie, Inc. ABBV announced the European Commission has approved Skyrizi (risankizumab) alone or in combination with methotrexate, for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis in adults who have had an inadequate response or who have been intolerant to one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

This marks the second indication for Skyrizi, with the marketing authorization remaining valid in all member states of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Northern Ireland.

GlaxoSmithKline, Vir Secure $1B Worth Of U.S. Government Contract to Supply COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. VIR announced U.S. government contracts totaling about $1 billion to purchase sotrovimab, an investigational monoclonal antibody for the early treatment of COVID-19, which the FDA granted EUA in May.

GSK will supply these doses to the U.S. government by Dec. 17, 2021, enabling further expanded nationwide access to sotrovimab for patients. In addition to the doses that will be supplied this year, the U.S. government will have the option to purchase additional doses through March 2022.

While GSK shares were edging down 0.40% to $42.28, Vir shares were seen rallying 10.41% to $36.90.

Chembio Files For Emergency Use Authorization For Rapid, Point-of-Care Antigen Test To Detect COVID-19

Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. CEMI announced the submission of an EUA application to the FDA for the new DPP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test.

The DPP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test system, developed with BARDA funding, has been designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens in only 20 minutes. The DPP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test system is now designed to use a minimally invasive nasal swab and be read visually or with a DPP Micro Reader or DPP Micro Reader 2 optical analyzer.

The stock was up 4.37% at $2.15 in premarket trading.

Rockwell Medical Announces Publication Of Study Results Showing No Drug-Drug In Admixture Of Anemia Drug and Anticoagulant

Rockwell Medical, Inc. RMTI announced publication in the Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability, positive results from a study designed to investigate the co-administration of intravenous Ferric Pyrophosphate Citrate with unfractionated heparin as an admixture via the HD-machine syringe pump.

The study demonstrated no clinically relevant drug-drug interaction between FPC and UFH on the effects of UFH nor on the ability of FPC to deliver bioavailable iron when these agents are co-administered as a single admixture via an HD-machine syringe pump.

The stock was rallying 39.65% at 67.2 cents in premarket trading.

Related Link: Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For November PDUFA Dates


EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc. EYPT priced its underwritten public offering of 4.027 million shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.75 per share and, to certain investors in lieu of common stock, pre-funded warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 3.273 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $13.74 per each pre-funded warrant.

The aggregate gross proceeds from this offering are expected to be approximately $100.3 million. All of the shares of common stock and pre-funded warrants are being sold by EyePoint.

In premarket trading, the stock was down 5.69% at $13.25.

Cyclo Therapeutics, Inc. CYTH priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 1.95 million shares of its common stock at $6 per share. Gross proceeds from the offering are expected to be $11.7 million.

The stock was retreating 15.67% to $6.19 in premarket trading.

On The Radar


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