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Investing in small molecule derisks our portfolio, says Bone Therapeutics

Through the reverse merger of Medsenic, Bone Therapeutics will broaden and derisk its portfolio while increasing funding opportunities, the firm says.

France-based firm Medsenic specializes in the advancement of optimized formulations of arsenic salts targeting inflammatory conditions and other indications. Under the terms of the deal, Bone Therapeutics will acquire 51 percent of Medsenic shares, valued at $40 million.

Together, Bone Therapeutics and Medsenic will create a new biopharma company under the name BioSenic. According to both parties, the integration of the two companies will significantly derisk and increase Bone’s therapeutic portfolio.

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“The shareholders of Medsenic will have control of the new organization,” Miguel Forte, CEO of Bone Therapeutics, told BioProcess Insider at Advanced Therapies Europe 2022.

“This is important because Bone has been looking for opportunities to maintain value, reduce risk, and ensure that shareholders have the opportunity to develop products. If we were to continue on our own, it would be difficult to raise cash. It derisks the company because we have two products in the clinic which have common connection and that becomes a more robust portfolio, which leads to an increased opportunity to raise cash and then bring products to patients.”

Bone and Medsenic are both currently running clinical trials in graft-versus-host disease tibial fractures, lupus, as well as other indications. Bone’s ALLOB, which is a double-bound, randomized, placebo-controlled study in individuals with high-risk tibial fractures is in Phase IIb trials. And Medsenic is carrying out a Phase II clinical study with arsenic trioxide in the first-line treatment of cGvHD (chronic GvH), as well as a Phase IIa clinical trial for Lupus, which it claims has established proof of concept of safety for the individual and efficacy of the autoimmune disease.

In turn, the companies claim this common connection leads to a multitude of financial and operational benefits through merging into one organization.

Off the bone

As Forte is set to leave Bone Therapeutics once the transaction is complete, he could not comment on future management of the firm.

“The management of Medsenic will come and manage the organization going forward and I’ll be leaving Bone Therapeutics. [However], a binding agreement [now] needs to go through a legal process and once confirmed, new management will take over,” said Forte.

It is not yet known where Forte is moving to, but he maintained the decision to acquire Medsenic is “a way to make the company continue, provide opportunity to develop products, and bring value.”