Concert out of tune after patent stumble

Concert Pharmaceuticals is adamant that its Jak inhibitor CTP-543 still has a future, but a blow to its intellectual property means that the alopecia candidate might now have just five years’ market exclusivity, according to Stifel analysts. Concert was already gearing up to compete with Pfizer, which is also developing a Jak inhibitor, PF-06651600, for alopecia, and the smaller group’s outlook got bleaker with yesterday’s US Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling, which ruled that the claims in Concert’s ’149 composition of matter patent were not patentable. This followed a challenge by Incyte, the maker of Jakafi; CTP-543 is a deuterated version of ruxolitinib, Jakafi's active ingredient. Concert intends to appeal, and promising early phase II data with CTP-543 show why it is keen to continue. The company hopes that efficacy could be improved with a higher 12mg twice-daily dose, due to yield results in the third quarter. Concert’s sparse pipeline also gives it another reason to keep plugging away with CTP-543. The company had around $153m in cash at last count, enough to take it into the second half of 2020; shares fell 16% yesterday.

Concert Pharmaceuticals' pipeline
Project Description Indication Status 2024e sales ($m)
AVP-786 Deuterated dextromethorphan Alzheimer's agitation Phase III 115*
CTP-543 Deuterated ruxolitinib Alopecia Phase II 146
CTP-692 Deuterated D-serine Schizophrenia Phase I 2
*Sales to be booked by Concert's partner, Otsuka. Source: EvaluatePharma.

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