FAST NEWS: Connect Biopharma Plunges on Poor Results for Colitis Drug

The latest: Connect Biopharma (CNTB.US) said late on Tuesday that results from a Phase 2 trial for its CBP-307 drug for treatment of patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis “did not achieve statistical significance.”

Looking Up: Despite failing to achieve statistical significance, the new data still “demonstrate the potential for CBP-307 to provide benefit to patients living with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis,” CEO Zheng Wei said in a statement. That indicates the company believes the drug may still have commercial potential.

Take Note: Connect Biopharma said it intends to “engage in partnership discussions for future development of CBP-307,” indicating it may not have the financial resources to continue trials by itself.

Digging Deeper: Founded 10 years ago, Connect Biopharma has a pipeline of four drug candidates but no revenues yet. The most advanced of those is CBP-201, a drug for treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, which recently wrapped up a Phase 2b trial and is on track to begin a Phase 3 trial in the second half of this year. But investors haven’t been impressed by the drug’s development due to stiff competition from many rival products. Reflecting that, the company’s shares lost more than half their value after it released initial data about its Phase 2 clinical trial for CBP-201 in November. After raising $204.5 million in its 2021 IPO, the company had 1.7 billion yuan ($257 million) in cash and cash equivalents at the end of last year.

Market Reaction: Connect Biopharma’s shares plunged 57.7% in Wednesday trading after the report’s release, sending them to a new post-IPO low of $0.82.

Reporting by Doug Young

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