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ARMP Soars, SAVA Awaits Alzheimer's Data, HEPA On The Move, All Eyes On AIMT

(RTTNews) - Today's Daily Dose brings you news about Armata Pharma's receipt of a strategic investment from Innoviva; Cassava Sciences' near-term catalyst; encouraging data related to Hepion Pharma's NASH drug candidate CRV431 and merger of Conatus Pharma and privately-held Histogen.

Read on…

Shares of Armata Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARMP) touched a new high of $6.92 in intraday trading on Tuesday, following news of a strategic investment from Innoviva Inc. (INVA).

Innoviva has offered to purchase approximately $25 million in Armata common stock and warrant securities under a securities purchase agreement.

As part of the agreement, Innoviva will purchase approximately 8.7 million newly issued shares of Armata's common stock, at a price of $2.87 per share, and warrants to purchase up to approximately 8.7 million additional shares of Armata's common stock, with an exercise price of $2.87 per share.

The stock purchases are expected to occur in two tranches, with the transactions expected to close during the first quarter of 2020.

The proceeds from the offering will be used by Armata to support the ongoing advancement of its bacteriophage development programs.

The Company's bacteriophage programs include lead phage candidate, AP-PA02, targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as AP-SA02, targeting Staphylococcus Aureus.

Armata plans to initiate a clinical trial evaluating AP-PA02 in cystic fibrosis patients chronically infected with P. aeruginosa in 2020. An IND to initiate clinical studies of AP-SA02 is also expected to be filed this year.

ARMP closed Tuesday's trading at $4.85, up 73.84%. In after-hours, the stock was up another 2.89% to $4.99.

The FDA decision on Aimmune Therapeutics Inc.'s (AIMT) peanut allergy treatment Palforzia is due late January.

With just two more days for the month to end, all eyes are on Aimmune.

An FDA panel had recommended approval of Palforzia last September. Although the FDA is not required to follow the panel's recommendations, it takes its advice into consideration when making the final decision.

AIMT closed Tuesday's trading at $32.82, up 2.37%.

Cassava Sciences Inc. (SAVA) has initiated dosing for the last patient in its phase 2b study of PTI-125 in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease in the United States.

Initiated last September, this phase 2b study of PTI-125 has enrolled a total of 64 patients and top-line results are expected mid-year 2020. The primary endpoint is improvement in biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease from baseline to Day 28.

SAVA closed Tuesday's trading at $8.66, up 21.12%. In after-hours, the stock was up 1.39% to $8.78.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CNAT) and privately-held Histogen Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Histogen will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Conatus in an all-stock transaction.

The combined company will operate under the name Histogen Inc. and is expected to trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under a new ticker symbol.

Histogen has a couple of upcoming development milestones to watch out for in the coming months.

-- A phase Ib/2a study of HST 001 for the treatment of male pattern baldness is expected to be initiated in Q2 2020. -- An Investigational Device Exemption is expected to be filed in Q2 2020, followed by the initiation of a phase I study of HST 002 as a dermal filler. -- A phase I study of HST 003 for the treatment of articular cartilage defects in the knee is expected to be initiated in Q3 2020.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

CNAT closed Tuesday's trading at $0.40, up 3.39%. In after-hours, the stock was up 24.88% to $0.51.

Hepion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (HEPA) NASH drug candidate CRV431 prevented experimentally induced liver fibrosis to a greater extent in an expanded study with human precision cut liver slices.

In this specialized experimental model using human liver tissue, CRV431 was compared against four other NASH drug candidates - Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (ICPT) Obeticholic acid, Genfit's (GNFT) Elafibranor, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (MDGL) Resmetirom and Galmed Pharmaceuticals' (GLMD) Aramchol.

A phase I, single ascending dose study previously showed CRV431 to be safe and well-tolerated in humans. Currently, CRV431 is being administered to humans in a 28-day multiple ascending dose study.

NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, refers to liver inflammation due to fat buildup in the liver.

HEPA closed Tuesday's trading at $4.98, up 5.73%. In after-hours, the stock was up 37.75% to $6.86.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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