Aristea Therapeutics, citing safety findings in ongoing phase 2 trials for its lead inflammation drug, has halted development and decided to dissolve the company entirely.
Without going into specifics, the San Diego-based biotech said it has "discontinued the RIST4721 development program in order to protect patient safety" and, as a result of this decision, the Board has decided that the "appropriate business decision is to undertake an orderly conclusion of the Aristea Therapeutics business and operations."
Spun out from AstraZeneca with RIST4721, a CXCR2 antagonist, in Dec. 2018, the company was focused on autoimmune inflammatory diseases. Aristea had phase 2 studies in development for RIST4721 in four neutrophil-mediated diseases: hidradenitis suppurativa, familial Mediterranean fever, Behcet's disease and palmoplantar pustulosis. The company had dosed its first patient in the trial for hidradenitis suppurativa — a chronic and progressive inflammatory dermatological condition — back in August.
In the summer of 2021, Aristea had inked a $70 million collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to advance the clinical development of RIST4721. Pfizer then bought Arena, transferring the partnership into Pfizer's hands.
Aristea is not the first small biotech to put the brakes on development for safety issues in 2023. Earlier this week, Magenta Therapeutics, after pausing its leukemia trial following the death of a patient, announced it was halting development and cutting 84% of its workforce.