Mesoblast gets blasted again

The writing has arguably been on the wall for Mesoblast’s most valuable pipeline candidate, MPC-150-IM, since Teva walked away from the asset in 2016. Now a phase II failure has made the mesenchymal precursor cell project’s prospects look even dimmer. However, Mesoblast seems determined to limp on for a while longer, putting a positive spin on the flop, presented at the American Heart Association meeting on Saturday. The trial, in heart failure patients implanted with a left ventricular device (LVAD), did not meet its primary endpoint, which involved weaning subjects off LVAD support. But Mesoblast pointed to a “significant” reduction in major gastrointestinal bleeds with MPC-150-IM; the FDA, which has granted the project regenerative medicine advanced therapy designation, has described this endpoint as “clinically meaningful”, the company claimed. Investors were not convinced, sending Mesoblast’s shares down 29% today. A bigger test for MPC-150-IM awaits: a 600-patient phase III study in heart failure is around 85% enrolled. Failure here would surely wipe out all expectations for the project, which was recently among one of biopharma’s most valuable unpartnered assets, according to sellside numbers. 

Up next? Selected candidates in Mesoblast's mesenchymal cell therapy projects
Project Status Indication(s) 2024e sales ($m) NPV ($m)
Temcell HS Approved (Japan only) Graft versus host disease 29 1,520
MPC-150-IM Phase III Heart failure 715 1,137
MPC-06-ID Phase III Chronic low back pain 142 244
MPC-300-IV Phase II Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic nephropathy, type 2 diabetes 59 56
Source: EvaluatePharma.

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