Equillium Adds Three Drugs To Its Pipeline Via Bioniz Acquisition


Equillium Inc EQ, with only one asset in its pipeline, is expanding its drug development efforts via the acquisition of Bioniz Therapeutics. The deal, worth approximately $330 million, gives the biotech access to three therapeutics.

  • Equillium will buy Bioniz in an all-stock deal for around 5.69 million shares and up to $57.5 million in development biobucks. The deal is further backloaded by up to $250 million in commercial milestone payments.
  • Bioniz's cytokine inhibitor BNZ-1 completed a Phase 1/2 study in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), meeting its primary objective of safety and tolerability. 
  • The drug is being considered for a Phase 2/3 trial in CTCL and a midstage study in alopecia areata, or balding. 
  • The acquisition also gives Equillium access to BNZ-2, an inhibitor of IL-15 and IL-21, that is ready for a phase 1 trial in patients with celiac disease. 
  • Further, Bioniz has BNZ-3, another IL-15 and IL-21 inhibitor in preclinical development for potential use in treating gastrointestinal inflammation. 
  • Equillium is testing itolizumab in acute graft-versus-host disease and lupus nephritis. 
  • Last month, the Company decided to stop testing the drug in patients with uncontrolled asthma despite passing safety and tolerability in a phase 1b trial. 
  • Price Action: EQ shares are up 3.50% at $4.14 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.
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