Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News from Bayhill on their BHT-3021 Treatment

Bayhill is in the middle of a phase-I clinical trial of BHT-3021 which is designed to train the body's immune system not to attack itself. Recently they announced both scientific results, and a huge corporate deal.

First the science: the phase-I study is still ongoing, but based on 12 months of data for one dose level, and 6 months for other dose levels, BHT-3021 appears to preserve beta cell function in type-1 diabetics (as measured by C-peptide production and A1C levels, for example). The differences were small. For example the patients who got the highest level of drug reported on had A1C levels about .44 lower than those who were not treated. This study was open to anyone who had type-1 for less than 5 years, so not just "honeymooners only".

You can see the abstract here:

Second, the corporate deal. Basically, Genetech (now owned by Roche) is going to buy BHT-3021. Genetech will pay Bayhill for this drug, they will reimburse Bayhill for the ongoing costs of the phase-I trial, and Genetech will run future phase-II and III trials. Genetech will market any resulting drug, and Bayhill will get royalties.

For a small company, like Bayhill, this is really the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Their lead product candidate is being bought by a major player based on it's success to date. From a money point of view, for a treatment still in the middle of phase-I trials, this is about as good as you can do.

More details are in the press release here:

Joshua Levy