Inotek jumps after detailing Rocket's near-term clinical catalysts
Inotek Pharmaceuticals last night announced the filing with the SEC of the company's preliminary proxy statement in connection with the previously announced proposed combination with Rocket Pharmaceuticals. "We believe the proposed merger with Rocket provides an attractive opportunity for our shareholders," said David Southwell, CEO of Inotek. "Rocket has several near-term clinical and proof of concept catalysts, a well-funded operation and a management team with rare disease and gene therapy leadership expertise." Inotek listted among its key Rocket Pharmaceuticals investment decisions, "A fifth undisclosed AAV-based gene therapy program is expected to enter the clinic next year and has demonstrated encouraging histological correction of the disease phenotype. This exciting program targets a monogenic pediatric disease with early mortality and represents the first gene therapy being developed for this large class of indications." Gaurav Shah, CEO of Rocket, said in the press release, "Preliminary results from our ongoing Phase 1/2 trial in Fanconi Anemia are encouraging, and we are seeing early signs of in vivo engraftment and hematological stabilization suggesting the potential for complete recovery of these patients back to normal blood counts. With this merger, we look forward to accelerating the advancement of our four other programs in LAD-I, PKD, IMO and our AAV-based therapy, into the clinic." Shares of Inotek are up 19% to $3.50 in early trading.