Times have never been tougher if you are a preclinical-stage biotechnology company with a high demand for cash to support operations. At least this must be the conclusion that RXi Pharmaceuticals drew after it struggled to attract investor interest in their self-delivering RNAi trigger technology, but a technology that has yet to enter the clinic. As a result, it announced today that it will acquire late-stage cancer immunotherapy company Apthera.
Biotech investment these days is largely placing bets on the next drug approval candidate. There is little patient money that allows public companies to see through their technology development which especially hits those platform companies hard which cannot find alternative sources of non-dilutive capital. Talk about RNAi Therapeutics.
Actually, I liked the way that RXi has recently developed their fairly differentiated rxRNAs. These should have utility for a number of localized RNAi approaches. But it seems that RXi’s raison d’etre has never been the science anyway. So as we say good-bye to short-time CEO Noah Beerman, I wish everybody more of the Happy Trading that RXII has become known for.