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Clinical development program's inclusion criteria encompassed moderate-to-severe asthmatics but actually only studied patients with severe disease.
BioNotebook: After selling to Actelion, entrepreneur Tullman starts new company, and Revance, Dicerna, UniQure file for IPOs
Steve Tullman, the serial biopharma entrepreneur who sold companies to Actelion, Allergan and Cephalon in the past few years, is starting a new company, Alexar Therapeutics. Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Alexar is being formed with $21.5 million in financing raised by Mr Tullman’s firm NeXeption. In September, another Tullman company, Ceptaris Therapeutics, was sold to Actelion for $250 million.
Actelion is paying a $25 million upfront for an option to acquire Ceptaris Therapeutics, contingent upon the latter’s receiving FDA approval for its only asset, Valchlor, which faces an August PDUFA date. If the deal closes, Ceptaris will receive another $225 million plus milestones from the Swiss-based biotech.
Several antibody drugs are in late-stage development to treat severe asthma and could reach the market in the next two years. But competition for niche subsets of patients will be fierce, and tailoring the right medications to the right patients to justify the higher cost of treatment will require advances in biomarker development.