RARE Daily

BridgeBio, Looking to Conserve Cash, Sheds Programs

May 5, 2022

BridgeBio said it is engaged in partnering and outlicensing discussions for six of its programs as it seeks to conserve cash.

The decision, reported in the company’s quarterly results, follows reports of layoffs and two recent transactions.

Last Month, Endpoints News and Fierce Biotech reported on a second round of layoffs at the company, although the extent of the staff cuts are not known. The company acknowledged to Fierce in an email that the reductions were partly due to current market conditions. Those cuts added BridgeBio to a growing list of biotech companies that have cut staff as stock prices have plummeted and investor appetite to invest in the sector waned.

BridgeBio recently sold its rights to Nulibry (fosdenopterin) to Sentynl Therapeutics, which will be responsible for the ongoing development and commercialization in the United States and developing, manufacturing and commercializing the drug globally. BridgeBio will share development responsibilities for fosdenopterin through approval of the marketing authorization application already under accelerated assessment with the European Medicines Agency and through approval of its regulatory submission with the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Sentynl will provide cash payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory milestones. BridgeBio will be eligible to receive commercial milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on adjusted net sales of Nulibry. Nulibry is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the risk of mortality in patients with molybdenum cofactor deficiency Type A, an ultra-rare, life-threatening pediatric genetic disorder.

The company also said it had amended its agreement with Helsinn Group to develop, manufacture, and commercialize infigratinib in oncology indications in the United States. Under the terms of the revised agreement, Helsinn will gain an exclusive license to commercialize infigratinib in the United States and will be responsible for developing, manufacturing, and commercializing infigratinib in oncology indications worldwide except for achondroplasia or any other skeletal dysplasias, and except in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

BridgeBio will be eligible to receive regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on adjusted net sales from Helsinn. BridgeBio will retain all rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize infigratinib in skeletal dysplasia, including achondroplasia.

In 2021, Helsinn and BridgeBio obtained accelerated approval for Truseltiq (infigratinib) from the FDA for the treatment of adults with previously treated, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma with a fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 fusion or other rearrangement as detected by an FDA-approved test.

The company said as of March 31, 2022, it had cash and cash equivalents of $633.5 million. That compared to $787.5 million as of December 31, 2021. The net decrease of $154.0 million pertains primarily to payments for operating costs and expenses of $160.6 million, which includes $18.8 million in payments for debt-related interests, timing of payments of accrued compensation and benefits of $16.9 million and $3.9 million in payments related to the restructuring initiative that the company implemented during the current quarter. During the current quarter, the company received an upfront payment of $10 million upon closing of the asset purchase agreement between its affiliate, Origin Biosciences, and Sentynl Therapeutics.

“We made significant progress in reducing our expenditures in the first quarter, highlighted by a combined reduction of over $100 million in 2022-2023 operating expenses through the Helsinn and Sentynl deals, but we are not yet done,” said Brian Stephenson, CFO of BridgeBio. “Our priorities are focusing resources towards select internal programs while finding value-creating partnerships for others that we believe allow science to advance seamlessly towards patients.

He said the company currently expects to have runway up to and beyond the readout of its ATTR therapy in mid-2023 without requiring equity dilution.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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