viewMatinas BioPharma

Matinas BioPharma advances the promise of omega-3 fatty acids


The New Jersey-based company's lead product candidate is MAT9001 for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions


Quick facts: Matinas BioPharma

Price: 0.8631 USD

Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $170.45 m
  • Focused on the development of lead product MAT9001 for treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions
  • Set to enroll MAT9001 in Phase 2 head-to-head study versus FDA-approved rival Vascep
  • Flushed with cash and cash equivalents of about $36.8 million

What Matinas BioPharma does:

Matinas BioPharma Holdings (NYSEAMERICAN:MTNB) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of its lead product candidate MAT9001 for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions.

The Bedminster, New Jersey-based company is also working on the advancement of its proprietary lipid nano-crystal (LNC) platform technology for the safe delivery of therapies previously limited by toxicity or bioavailability issues.

MAT9001 is a prescription-only omega-3 fatty acid-based formulation, comprised primarily of EPA and DPA (both essential polyunsaturated fatty acids), under development for the specific treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. Triglycerides are a type of fat in human blood, and having too many can lead to heart disease or acute pancreatitis. 

In addition, Matinas is developing MAT2203, an oral-delivered formulation of Amphotericin-B, to treat serious invasive fungal infections. The drug is based on the company’s LNC platform and has the potential to substantially improve an otherwise challenging safety profile in critically ill patients.

How is the company doing?

For MAT9001, the company recently announced it has completed a required bridging toxicology study ahead of schedule and expects to commence additional studies in the coming months.

Matinas will soon begin enrolling MAT9001 in a confirmatory Phase 2 head-to-head study versus Amarin Corporation PLC's Vascepa, the only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that’s designed to fight high triglyceride levels. 

The company said this study builds on an earlier study comparing MAT9001 with Vascepa that “provided significantly greater reductions in PD (pharmacodynamic) markers known to be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including triglycerides.”

As for MAT2203, efficacy results from a National Institutes of Health study using preclinical animal models evaluating the drug for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis, a deadly brain fungal infection, were published in the American Society for Microbiology Journal, mBio, in May. 

That same month Matinas entered into a research collaboration with ViiV Healthcare Limited (a joint venture by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline) to evaluate the use of Matinas’ LNC platform technology in the delivery of antivirals targeting HIV infection.

The company also received in July the FDA’s Qualified Infectious Disease Product designation with Fast Track status for the drug for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis.

In addition, plans are underway to start a trial of MAT2203 for the treatment of HIV-infected patients with cryptococcal meningitis. This open-label, sequential cohort study, fully funded by NIH, will utilize Matinas’ LNC platform to orally deliver Amphotericin B.

Regarding its finances, as of June 30, Matinas had cash and cash equivalents of about $36.8 million, compared to $12.4 million at December 2018’s end.

This increase includes net proceeds of $30.1 million from the company’s public offering of its common stock in March 2019. Based on management’s current projections, Matinas believes that its cash-on-hand is sufficient to fund operations into the first quarter of 2021.

Inflection points:

  • Launch additional Phase 2, 28-day head-to-head data study of MAT9001 vs Vascepa in patients with elevated triglycerides during the first quarter of 2020 with topline data expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. 
  • Secure clinical intermediates of MAT9001 to support all planned studies through 2020 while manufacturing proprietary capsules for the entirety of the next 12-months’ clinical trials supply.
  • Expect cumulative data from NIH-funded study of MAT2203 for the treatment of HIV-infected patients with cryptococcal meningitis to be available in the first half of 2021.

What the boss says:

“Matinas is a company that I founded with a couple of really, really smart people that’s focused on developing a best-in-class omega-3 drug," CEO Jerry Jabbour said in a recent interview with Proactive. “The landscape has changed and the science is starting to catch up, and key opinion leaders are excited about the omega-3 space.”    

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Matinas BioPharma Holdings Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:MTNB) CEO Jerome Jabbour tells Proactive it will begin a Part 2 study of MAT2203 for the treatment of HIV patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Jabbour explains how the New Jersey-based company will begin dosing its first patient in the...

on 02/24/2020

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