Last December, Axovant acquired for €4.5M ($5 million) the drug candidate SB742457 from GlaxoSmithKline. Four months later, the company announced its initial public offering to raise up to €154M ($173 million). Why is this newly funded company betting on the leftovers of the Big Pharma?
The drug candidate SB742457 is a selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist, developed as an oral treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at a mild-to-moderate stage. The clinical data suggested a potential additive effect to improve cognition when 5-HT6 antagonists are added to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, one of the two classes of drugs approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s treatment. The most famous and commonly used is Donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor developed by Eisai and its partner Pfizer.
RVT-101 mechanism of Action with Donepezil. Source: Axovant
Back in July 2011, at the AAIC conference, GSK presented the results from two six-month trials. These trials missed their primary endpoints of significant improvement of the cognition.