Oct 31, 2022 A developer of synthetic biology drugs for the treatment of inflammatory and neurological disorders related to the gut, becomes a public company through a special merger. Intrinsic Medicine Inc. in Seattle joins the Phoenix Biotech Acquisition Corp. in Oakland, Calif., special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in a deal that is expected to raise as much as $179 million for Intrinsic.
Intrinsic Medicine is a four-year-old biotech company that creates treatments for diseases caused by synthetic biology. disorders of the intestinal microbiome, communities of bacteria and other microbes that are attracting more attention from researchers and entrepreneurs. Recent discoveries are revealing links between the health of gut microbes and diseases that occur elsewhere in the body, including those affecting the immune and central nervous systems. For example, in September 2022. Science and entrepreneurship reported on a clinical trial of stool and blood sample collection to identify associations between gut microbial communities and four solid tumor cancers.
The Domestic technology is based on human milk oligosaccharides, there are many natural sugars in milk that are minimally digested in the stomach and small intestine and thus reach the colon largely intact. In the intestines, oligosaccharides of human milk contribute healthy microbial development and reduces pathogenic microbes while helping to produce metabolites with therapeutic effects. From the gut, these sugars circulate throughout the body and bind to other cells, including immune system cells and neurons.
Treatment of intestinal and brain axis conditions
The company says it is developing therapies from synthetic versions of human milk oligosaccharides, or HMOs, and is developing treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation from autoimmune diseases and neurological diseases. Codenamed Intrinsic’s flagship product OM002is a synthetic form of HMO 2′-fucosyllactose, which the company says is 30 percent HMO in milk. Intrinsic says that 2′-fucosyllactose directly reduces inflammation, supports the integrity of the colonic mucosa, and promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are also beneficial to the colonic mucosa.
OM002, the company said, will soon enter a mid-stage or Phase 2 clinical trial as a treatment for the gut-brain axis, or GBA, including constipation from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS-C. OM002 is also in preclinical development for diarrhea associated with IBS and post-surgical IBS, as well as autism spectrum disorders. Intrinsic has two other synthetic biologics based on various HMO sugars in various preclinical stages for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, atopic dermatitis, autism spectrum disorders and pain.
“Our Planned Phase 2b Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of OM002 in IBS-C,” Says President of Intrinsic Medicine Jason Ferrone in company statement, “IBS-C will be the first of its kind to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HMO-based medications in patients living with GBA disorder. Ferrone adds that he expects initial data from the trial to be available in the first half of 2024.
The merger with Phoenix Biotech Acquisition Corp., which trades on Nasdaq as PBAX, is expected to bring Intrinsic Medicine as much as $178.8 million, assuming no buyouts or other capital injection by current PBAX shareholders. Intrinsic will trade on Nasdaq under the ticker INRX after the transaction closes, which is expected in the first half of 2023. The company plans to use the proceeds for an upcoming OM002 clinical trial and to advance other OM002 applications and products into their preclinical stages.
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