Roivant CEO Matt Gline faced an immediate challenge in 2021 when he took the helm, discovering that Immunovant’s lead asset had a cholesterol issue. Now, after diligent efforts, promising data has emerged in a phase 1 trial for IMVT-1402, an FcRn inhibitor, showing significant reductions in immunoglobulin G without substantial cholesterol level increases or albumin level decreases, which could signal liver problems. This marks a positive development for IMVT-1402 as a potential autoimmune therapy compared to batoclimab, Immunovant’s leading asset, which has grappled with cholesterol concerns.
Gline expressed his satisfaction with this milestone, considering it a fulfilling culmination of his early challenges in the role. Immunovant’s new data, although in healthy adults and at an early stage, offers hope for a more robust autoimmune treatment.
While there was one discontinuation in the group receiving subcutaneous treatment, it was unrelated to the study drug. Gline emphasized that batoclimab, as an FcRn target, remains relevant, suggesting its applicability in acute settings where rising LDL-C levels are less critical. In contrast, IMVT-1402 could have broader applications. However, Gline cautioned that no definitive decisions have been made yet.
Immunovant CEO Peter Salzmann mentioned that IMVT-1402 could be considered for Grave’s disease and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) indications if batoclimab’s phase 1 results later this year are positive. Salzmann hinted at the efficiency of combining batoclimab with IMVT-1402 for CIDP and noted Johnson & Johnson’s nipocalimab as another FcRn inhibitor with emerging indications.
Regarding Immunovant’s financing strategy for its expanding clinical program, Salzmann hinted at raising equity in capital markets to develop initial indications. This positive development drove Immunovant’s share price up by 75%, from $20.28 to $35.66, with analysts suggesting it could lead to a $5 billion valuation, as the data appeared to meet or exceed expectations.