After filing for bankruptcy, Bind signs a new research deal

Microscope

It’s been a tough month for Bind after cutting staff, dropping a clinical trial and holding off on another, only then to file for bankruptcy. Today however there has been some good news as it penned a new research deal with Affilogic--but the bad news is that this will do nothing to help its precarious financial situation.

The early-stage deal, which has been made with the privately held French biotech Affilogic, will see Bind ($BIND) get hold of its affinity proteins platform Nanofitins to target ligand components for Bind’s Accurins nanoparticle platform, which is designed to bind immuno-oncology targets.

Upon achievement of proof-of-concept, nano cap Bind said it expects to expand the collab to develop Accurins that “incorporate unique combinations of immuno-oncology targeting ligands and new classes of payloads,” including oligonucleotides and molecularly targeted therapies.

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This is a much-needed research boost for the biotech as troubles have been brewing at Bind since the start of April when the Cambridge, MA-based biotech released a mixed bag of results for its Phase II program for the nanoparticle cancer drug Bind-014.

The data saw it halt one trial and stop another until it can find a partner. CEO Andrew Hirsch told FierceBiotech at the time that it simply couldn’t afford to run the second trial, which did have positive results, any further.

It shares spiraled downward with Hirsch also telling FierceBiotech that “anything was now on the table” for his company, including a sale. At the end of last month, the company cut its workforce by 38%, leaving it with just 61 employees.

To compound the misery on Monday the biotech filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. This order essentially allows a company in a financial sticky spot temporary protection from creditors in order to allow it to reorganize, and has helped stave off debt collectors from one its lenders.

Additional terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed, but this will do nothing to help its money woes, with Bind saying in a statement that the deal “is not expected to have a material financial impact on Bind Therapeutics.”

Despite its mixed results from the Accurins program, Affilogic is upbeat on how well its platform will work with Bind’s.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Bind Therapeutics and believe our Nanofitins targeting ligands can play an important role in Bind’s innovative medicine strategy,” said Olivier Kitten, CEO of Affilogic.  

Nanofitins are small affinity proteins that can be wedded to other moieties (small molecule, biologics, nanoparticles) by genetic fusion or standard chemistry (regioselective conjugation).

Kitten added: “Bind’s Accurins platform has proven very effective at encapsulating and controlling the release kinetics of a wide variety of therapeutic payloads. When combined with our ability to specifically tailor Nanofitins to target important immune-oncology checkpoints, we believe this collaboration could lead to the discovery and development of truly innovative therapeutics.”

Although in penny-stock territory, Bind’s shares closed up by nearly 60% yesterday on the news.

- check out the release

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