- Biomea Fusion’s market value doubled Tuesday after initial research on the biotech’s experimental diabetes drug surpassed expectations.
- The company released results from two groups of patients whose Type 2 diabetes was poorly controlled despite using available medications. In each group, 10 patients received the Biomea drug, known as BMF-219, and two got a placebo. One group took the medicine with food.
- Trial participants who took the drug on an empty stomach benefited more from the treatment, with 89% responding and 56% achieving a reduction of at least 1% in a blood sugar measurement known as A1C. The company had previously told analysts that a reduction of about 0.3% would be considered a positive result.
The results are compelling when compared with approved drugs known as GLP-1 agonists that showed a reduction of between 0.5% and 0.8% in A1C after four weeks of treatment, Jefferies analysts wrote in a note to clients. Biomea also has so far only shared results from the lowest of five doses it plans to test, meaning higher doses could have more dramatic effects.
Biomea wasted no time in capitalizing on investor enthusiasm for its stock. On Wednesday morning, the company announced a secondary offering to raise $125 million in a market that has been inhospitable to the biotech industry in recent months. At more than $34 apiece, the company’s shares are worth more than twice their debut price in 2021, making Biomea one of the sector’s top performers among biotechs that have gone public in the last two-plus years, according to BioPharma Dive data.
Biomea is continuing the Phase 2 study, testing higher doses in different groups of patients. The company also plans to expand its research to include dosing periods longer than four weeks and will explore whether the drug can help other patients with diabetes, including Type 1 patients.
BMF-219 is designed to block a protein known as menin that researchers believe has a negative effect on beta cells that help the body produce insulin and control blood sugar. The goal “is to deliver the first disease-modifying treatment for patients with diabetes by addressing the root biological cause of the disease and its inevitable progression: the loss of insulin-producing beta cells,” Biomea CEO Thomas Butler said in the company’s press release Tuesday.
Jefferies analysts noted that data hasn’t yet been released on how the drug affects beta cell function. More information should be available in the coming months, possibly as early as the American Diabetes Association meeting in June.