Will The STARS Add Shine To VectivBio?

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Shares of VectivBio Holding AG (VECT) are down 88% from their all-time high of $37.70, recorded last April, and trade around $5.

Switzerland-based VectivBio is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for severe rare conditions with significant unmet medical need. The lead drug candidate is Apraglutide, a next-generation GLP-2 analog, which according to the company represents a potential "pipeline in a product" opportunity.

Apraglutide is under the following trials:

-- A phase III study in adult patients with short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure, dubbed STARS.

Short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF) is a highly disabling condition caused by severe intestinal loss induced by surgery, trauma, or infarction, and less usually by a congenital abnormality or a reduction in absorptive surface as a result of diffuse disease. (Source: American Gastroenterological Association)

-- A phase II metabolic balance study in colon-in-continuity (CIC) patients with short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure, dubbed STARS Nutrition.

-- A phase II trial in patients with steroid-refractory gastrointestinal acute Graft versus Host Disease, dubbed STARGAZE.

Anticipated Milestones:

-- Topline results from the STARS trial of Apraglutide in short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure are expected by the end of 2023.

-- Interim data from the STARS Nutrition trial is expected to be presented at a scientific conference in the second half of this year.

-- Interim data from the STARGAZE trial of Apraglutide in acute Graft versus Host Disease is expected in the first half of 2023.

Also in the pipeline are a couple of compounds in early stage of research/development like VB-1197, VB-1200, VB-1300, and VB-1400.

VB-1197, being developed for the treatment of methylmalonic acidemia and propionic academia, is under preclinical development. The company plans to initiate a first-in-human trial of VB-1197 in the second half of 2023.

Methylmalonic acidemia and Propionic academia are rare, autosomal recessive disorders of amino acid metabolism.

The other compounds are in research stage.

Licensing Agreements & Deals:

Last month, VectivBio entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. to develop and commercialize Apraglutide in Japan. The company has also established a loan facility with Kreos Capital, a global growth lender to life sciences and healthcare companies, to access up to $75 million, with a minimum commitment to draw down $10 million.

Cash position:

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $102.7 million at December 31, 2021. The license deal and loan facility agreement provides the company up to $117 million.

Vectiv's shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on April 9, 2021, pricing its shares at $17 each. The stock opened that day at $22.82, touched an intraday high of $37.70, and closed at $24.23.

VECT has thus far hit a low of $2.74 and a high of $37.70. The stock closed Friday's trading at $5.00, unchanged from the previous day's close.

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