RARE Daily

Cortexyme to Acquire Novosteo, Expanding Pipeline into Rare Skeletal Disease

May 10, 2022

Cortexyme said that it entered into an agreement under which the company plans to acquire Novosteo, a privately held biotech company focused on targeted therapeutics to treat rare skeletal diseases, bone cancer, and injury.

Photo: Dirk Thye, CEO of Quince

When the transaction is completed, Novosteo stockholders will own approximately 15.5 percent of the combined company. The transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, is expected to close within the next 30 days.

“The acquisition of Novosteo adds a highly promising set of assets and meaningfully expands the breadth of our management team,” said David Lamond, chairman of Cortexyme’s board of directors. “We continue to review additional strategic actions that may opportunistically build upon our growing rare and degenerative disease focus.”

The acquisition of Novosteo expands Cortexyme’s drug development pipeline into rare disease indications with the addition of NOV004, a bone targeting molecule designed to accelerate fracture repair, including in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta. NOV004 is engineered to specifically target and concentrate at the bone fracture site, leading to higher concentrations of a therapeutic anabolic peptide over longer periods of time directly at the site of injury. This improved retention at the bone fracture surface stimulates a robust healing response in preclinical studies.

In preclinical fracture studies, NOV004 increased new bone production three-fold and resulted in bone that is almost twice as dense as bone treated with a non-targeted therapeutic. At three weeks post fracture, NOV004 treatment reached pre-fracture strength and more than doubled control strength. Notably, these effects are seen with normal physiology, as well as in osteogenesis imperfecta – a rare bone disease caused by a congenital defect in the genetic code for collagen.

With IND-enabling studies completed, NOV004 is expected to enter phase 1 clinical studies in 2023 and progress to a lead indication in osteogenesis imperfecta.

The combined company, which will operate under a new name—Quince Therapeutics, Inc.—will have capital resources of approximately $120 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments as of March 31, 2022, on a proforma basis with which to fund its combined operating requirements.

Dirk Thye, CEO of Novosteo, will lead Quince as CEO, and Karen Smith, chief medical officer of Cortexyme, will continue in that role to support its next stage of growth. Dirk Thye and Philip Low, a current director of Novosteo, will also join the company’s Board of Directors upon close of the transaction.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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