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Inspyr Seeks Clinical Partner for Cash After New Name, Exec Hires

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — Inspyr is a biotech in need of a turnaround. Chris Lowe, the CEO who was officially hired this month to replace co-founder Craig Dionne, is hoping a deal with another drug developer can help make a U-turn in the business.

The 12-year-old San Antonio-based company has results from a Phase 2 trial of its drug, mipsagargin or G-202, in liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) and would like to see that drug tested in Phase 3. Inspyr also has an ongoing Phase 2 trial of G-202 in glioblastoma, but wants to increase the dosing regimen because Lowe believes it may better show the potential efficacy and safety of the drug.

Yet Inspyr doesn’t have the cash to do either, operating on about $1.5 million that’s leftover from a $2.5 million funding in December. That’s where Lowe comes in. He says he is seeking a partnership with another company based on the Phase 2 data of G-202 in liver cancer. If successful in getting a deal done—be it a co-development agreement, joint venture, outright licensing, or licensing on a regional basis—some money it raises would be used on the glioblastoma Phase 2 trial, Lowe says.

Ideally, Lowe says, Inspyr will find a partner that is willing to take on the cost of a Phase 3 trial for G-202 in liver cancer—with milestone and royalty payments for Inspyr down the road—while providing Lowe’s company an upfront payment that could provide at least some funding for the glioblastoma trial, he says. As an over-the-counter stock with less-stringent reporting requirements, the public markets are an unlikely route for Inspyr’s (OTCMKTS: NSPX) fundraising goals.

“At this market cap, the first thing I’m looking at is to try to leverage (liver cancer) data we have,” Lowe says. “The focus for the company—as we rebuild the reputation, rebuild the management team—is make sure we identify clear milestones for folks, and make sure we deliver on them.”

Lowe didn’t name a specific dollar amount he thought the company would raise. But his employment agreement gives him incentives—a salary renegotiation and a bonus worth 2 percent of the funding total—if he brings … Next Page »

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