It's been a busy week on Wall Street for Parkinson's players all over the globe. Finland's Biotie Therapies ($BITI) saw its stock surge upon debut on the Nasdaq, Canada's Cynapsus plans to hit the exchange this week, and Israel's Intec Pharma plans to conduct an IPO shortly.
All three companies deploy drug delivery as one of their competitive advantages, demonstrating the therapeutic area's need for supplements, alternatives or improved versions of standard levodopa.
Biotie's share rose as high as $20.84 after debuting at $16.25 on Thursday. It originally priced 3.76 million shares at $14.88, so the IPO raised more than the planned for $56 million.
Its oral Parkinson's candidates apparently crosses the blood-brain barrier to block certain receptors that contribute toward Parkinson's symptoms like debilitating "off" episodes, during which patients have difficulty moving.
Lead candidate Tozadenant is preparing to enter Phase III trials. Biotie hopes it reduces the amount of time spent in off episodes when used in combination with the standard Parkinson's med levodopa, which suffers from variable absorption in the bloodstream, diminishes in effectiveness after about 5 years of use, and can cause dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements).
Cynapsus hopes to raise $64 million by offering 4.5 million shares for $14.18, according to Renaissance Capital. It is currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where it has a market value of around $100 million.
The company expects to file a New Drug Application with the FDA in 2016 for its sublingual thin-film strip version of the "rescue" dopamimne agonist apomorphine, for patients who don't respond adequately to levodopa/carbidopa.
Cynapsus promises to improve apomorphine therapy by eliminating the need for injections (offered by Britannia Pharmaceuticals under the name Apokyn), which can cause site reactions, and are difficult to administer among Parkinson's patients, who often lack dexterity.
In November, the company said 14 of the 16 Parkinson's disease patients responded positively to the candidate in its Phase II trial, and plans to complete three additional studies of bioavailability, efficacy and safety.
Finally, Intec Pharma aims to raise up to $46 million in a U.S. IPO, says Renaissance Capital. The company needs capital to deploy its levodopa-delivering Accordion Pill against Parkinson's in Phase III trials.
The Accordion Pill is meant to enhance delivery of drugs, such as levodopa, that have an absorption window limited to the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. Intec hopes to prove that by releasing levodopa gradually, the Accordion Pill can increase its bioavailability and extend the absorption phase, thereby increasing the predictability and consistency of drug delivery into the bloodstream.
During in vivo drug delivery, the outer capsule of the Accordion pill dissolves in the stomach and the pill unfolds in an accordion-like manner, where it is retained for up to 12 hours. The drug is then continuously absorbed in the upper part of the GI tract.
Intec is also developing a clinical-stage Accordion Pill candidate to treat insomnia.