BioInvent will retain rights to the drug, now known as BI-204, outside North America. BI-204 is in pre-clinical development for myocardial infarction or stroke. In pre-clinical tests, the compound reduced atherosclerotic plaque. BI-204 blocks a major mediator of vascular inflammation that is thought to help form unstable plaque in the vessel wall. Genentech slipped a little after yesterday’s post-earnings-announcement runup, dropping 57 cents to $86.83.
Stent maker Xtent [XTNT] set terms for its upcoming IPO. The company will seek to place 4.7 million shares in a $16 to $18 range, giving the company a market capitalization of $387.6 million at the midpoint. The company has been the beneficiary of $76 million in venture capital through its history, and existing investors paid an average of $4.22 per share. Xtent lost $17.9 million during the first 9 months of 2006.
Point Therapeutics (POTP) released interim data from its Phase II trial of talabostat, a drug candidate being given to patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Talabostat was administered as an adjunct to Gemzar from Lilly (LLY). So far, in 21 patients with six months of follow-up, 48% have survived at least six months, which is the endpoint of the test. Of 31 patients who could be evaluated for tumor response, one had a complete response and two showed partial response.
The data was sufficiently positive to meet the prespecified threshold to complete the trial. The news sent Point Therapeutics 21% higher, rising 21 cents to $1.03.
Valeant Pharma (VRX) in-licensed the Canadian rights to Xyrem from Jazz Pharma. Xyrem treats cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone that results from narcolepsy. Valeant will make an upfront payment and pay royalties on sales. Valeant, which already has a neurology sales force, will launch the drug in mid-2007. Valeant was up 47 cents at $17.79.
Biotech closed at a new record high, helped in part by Amgen (AMGN), which moved up almost 2%. The Centient Biotech 200™ gained 24 point to close at 4078, a rise of .58%. That level was 5 points over the old high, which was set during the first quarter of 2006. The S&P 500 climbed .49% and Nasdaq was up by .72%.
Note: We called Friday's closing price a record, but we overlooked a 4088 closing price, set on February 27, 2006. At Friday's final level of 4078, we still have 10 points to go before setting a new record. We regret the error.
Disclosure: Centient management holds a position in Genentech shares and does consulting work for Genentech.