Synlogic has done the decent thing and discontinued development of SYNB1020 after an early-stage failure in cirrhosis. The big question now is whether the group’s bacteria-based approach still has legs. Synlogic’s sellside cheerleaders tried to play down the implications for the company’s pipeline, but unconvinced investors sent the group’s stock down 28% yesterday and a further 7% this morning. Synlogic’s platform creates engineered E coli Nissle bacteria to act as "living medicines", and there are reasons to be cautious about its remaining assets: its phenylketonuria project SYNB1618 failed to lower phenylalanine in phase I/II, and the group is still tinkering with the formulation; meanwhile, questions are growing about Sting-targeting approaches like SYNB1891. Synlogic also has a deal with Abbvie in inflammatory bowel disease, but this has yet to produce any clinical projects despite being signed in 2016. A more recent collaboration with the microbe specialist Ginkgo Bioworks could help replenish Synlogic’s pipeline, but work is very early. Confidence in the group’s technology has not been helped by a notable share price decline in the past month, and it is hard to see how it will be restored.
|Could bad news be catching for Synlogic's pipeline?|
|Project||Indication||Description||2024e sales ($m)||Status|
|SYNB1020||Hyperammonemia||Urea cycle regulator||182||Discontinued after phI/II trial failure|
|SYNB1618||Phenylketonuria||Phenylalanine hydroxylase agent||52||Bridging study of solid oral formulation planned|
|SYNB1891*||Solid tumours||Sting agonist||-||Preclinical; IND planned in H2 2019|
|Unnamed**||Inflammatory bowel disease||Unspecified||-||Preclinical|
|*Clinical collaboration with Roche; **collaboration with Abbvie. Source: EvaluatePharma & company website.|