Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- A Phase 2 trial of Oxigene's (OXGN) Zybrestat ovarian cancer drug (used in combination with Roche's Avastin) "met its primary endpoint of a statistically significant increase in progression-free survival." (PR)
- Oxigene expects full study results to be "submitted for presentation at a future scientific meeting."
- CEO Peter Langecker: "Zybrestat is the first vascular disrupting agent to show a statistically significant progression-free survival benefit, and we are evaluating next steps to advance this combination to patients in need."
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- Investment fund Oracle Partners battles Biolase (BIOL) Chairman Frederico Pignatelli for control of the firm.
- The fund seeks to install four new directors in an effort to improve the company's financial performance.
- Shares are flat in 2014 but down 84% from their 10-year high of $17.25 reached in March 2004.
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- Nano cap biotech Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (RNN) enjoys a pop in today's trading. Shares have eased a bit from the intraday high of $1.47, but are still up ~9% at $1.36.
- The firm disclosed initial results from its Phase 1 clinical trial of Supinoxin (RX-5902). Three patients have received two - six cycles of treatment. All doses were well tolerated.
- Some observers perceive the action as proof of investors' overexuberance with all things biotech.
- Investors take umbrage at Sunshine Heart (SSH) today in response to its earnings report published this morning. Shares are down 16% on seven times normal volume.
- Some investors perceive that the company's patient enrollment for the C-Pulse system is proceeding at too slow a pace.
- 36 mutual funds have positions, up from 12 a year ago.
- Colorado is off to a fast start collecting tax revenue from the sale of medicinal and recreational marijuana. According to Forbes, the state's January take was $1.5M for the former and $2M for the latter. The bulk of sales happen in Denver county.
- The fully-burdened tax rate can be as high as 21.1% on pot consumers.
- The state also charges a 15% "retail marijuana excise tax" that is levied on the first sale or transfer from a cultivation facility.
- The state now faces the political problem about how and where to spend the money.
- Marijuana industry stocks such as (MDBX) (CBIS) (MJNA) (GRNH) continue to generate substantial investor interest and debate.
- Prana Biotechnology (PRAN -2.2%) is set to join the S&P/ASX 300 Index on March 21 following a quarterly review by Dow Jones.
- The S&P/ASX 300 is adjusted every quarter to reflect Australia's largest 300 companies by market cap. Dow Jone's decision comes after Prana's valuation surged to over $415M.
- Entrance to the S&P/ASX 300 will expose Prana to a wider range of investors. (6-K)
- Wells Fargo downgrades NxStage Medical (NXTM) to Underperform reducing its price target to $10 - $12 from $11 - $14 citing the potential cannabalizing effect of opening 10 - 15 new dialysis centers on its core business. For the first time, it will be directly competing with its customers (large dialysis service providers) for patients.
- Analyst Gary Lieberman believes that this strategy is misguided because it will not synergize its home dialysis business and will potentially jeopardize its in-center revenue.
- NXTM shares currently trade at $14.
- Mutual fund ownership dropped from 207 to 192 from Q3 to Q4.
- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM +3.3%) presents data from animal studies that support the potential of the company's phosphatidylserine (PS) targeting antibodies to overcome immune suppression and boost anti-tumor activity.
- Peregrine's lead PS-targeting antibody, Bavituximab, is in Phase III trials of patients with second-line non-small cell lung cancer.
- PS is an "immune checkpoint" that helps boost tumor immunity. (PR)