Coronado Biosciences - now listed on the Nasdaq - is researching a treatment for Crohn's (and possibly a few other autoimmune diseases including the big-daddy of them MS). The technology is all licensed. To quote the original prospectus:
All of our product candidates were in-licensed from third parties. Under the terms of our license agreements, the licensors generally have the right to terminate such agreement in the event of a material breach by us. Our licenses require us to make annual and milestone payments prior to commercialization of any product and our ability to make these payments depends on our ability to generate cash in the future. These agreements generally require us to use diligent and reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize the product candidate. In the case of CNDO-201, the company from which we sublicense CNDO-201, OvaMed, licenses CNDO-201 from a third party, UIRF, in exchange for annual and milestone payments, patent cost reimbursement, royalties based on sales and diligence obligations. Our rights to CNDO-201 are, therefore, also subject to OvaMed’s performance of its obligations to UIRF, certain of which are outside of our control. For example, upon our acquisition of this license from Asphelia, we paid certain overdue patent cost reimbursement obligations to UIRF.So the stock holders (those that participated in the recent capital raise) get to fund the development of someone else's drug and have to make milestone payments based on the success of that development.
I will leave it to readers to work out the nuances of that disclosure.
I am more interested in the treatment. Here is how it is described in their latest prospectus:
TSO, or CNDO-201, is a biologic comprising Trichuris suis ova, the microscopic eggs of the porcine whipworm, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, or Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or UC, and multiple sclerosis, or MS.
The treatment comes from porcine whipworm - that is a worm that lives in pig intestines.
That is an obscure ingredient. You would think they breed pigs for it - but no a subcontractor of OvaMed breeds the pigs and CNDO pays OvaMed for that. This is the same OvaMed they are licensing the drug from. Here is the disclosure:
We have contracted with OvaMed to produce and supply us with all of our requirements of TSO. OvaMed’s contractor inoculates young pathogen-free pigs with T. suis from a master ova bank and harvests the ova which are incubated to maturity and are processed to remove any viruses and other pathogens. Ova then are processed and extensively tested to assure uniformity. They are then used to repopulate the master ova bank and are processed further by OvaMed into a final formulation of the drug product that is a clear, tasteless and odorless liquid. OvaMed manufacturing is conducted at one facility in Germany.This disclosure leaves out the really funny detail. Here it is:
Mature T. suis produce ova that exit the porcine host with the stool, however, ova are not infective until incubating in the soil for several weeks, thereby preventing direct host-to-host transmission.
So get this - Coronado Biosciences is a company testing a drug to treat a disease prevalent amongst New York Orthodox Jews where the drug is extracted from pig stools.
And you get the messy relationship with OvaMed thrown in for free.
It is not exactly Kosher.
Either this does not work or the Old Testament God does not exist or, if the Old Testament God does exist he has a wicked sense of humour.
*There are other inherited autoimmune disorders linked to people with other origins. Coeliac disease is of Anglo-Celtic origin. Behçet's disease is sometimes called Silk Road disease and has higher incidence in people of Turkish and Middle Eastern origin.