Good cholesterol drug goes bad for Cerenis - again

If only Cerenis Therapeutics was as good at clinical development as it is at attracting industry heavy hitters to its board. The group, which has counted Glaxosmithkline’s Jean-Pierre Garnier and Merck & Co’s Barbara Yanni as board members, today announced that its lead product CER-001, an HDL mimetic, failed in the phase III Tango trial for patients with familial hypoalphalipoproteinemia. Investors reacted by sending shares in the group down 58% to just 62 cents, a far cry from the €14 they commanded three years ago. This is not the first clinical banana skin for CER-001. In 2017 the group lost 73% of its value after the project struck out in a pivotal post-acute coronary syndrome trial. With CER-001 almost certainly a busted flush, Cerenis is joining the industry R&D herd and turning its attention to CER-209, a phase I NASH asset. While jumping on the Nash bandwagon might be a smart way of keeping any remaining investors onside, the group is facing the readout of a dosing trial for CER-209 by the end of the year. If it stumbles here as well, Cerenis will be facing a miserable Christmas, and a very uncertain New Year.

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