3 Things In Biotech, July 18: Cellectar Goes Boom And Psychs Out The Market

by: Zach Hartman

Eisai posts favorable top-line data in obesity.

Omeros gets started on a trial to attack addiction and compulsive disorders.

Cellectar times a reverse split with interesting efficacy news.

Welcome to another edition of "3 Things In Biotech You Should Learn Today," a daily digest dedicated to helping you keep pace with the fast-moving world of pharmaceutical and biotechnology research.

Eisai posts favorable top-line data in obesity

Company: Eisai (OTCPK:ESALY), Arena (ARNA), Teva (TEVA)

Therapy: Lorcaserin

Disease: Cardiovascular adverse events

News: ESALY announced that their phase 3b/4 CAELLIA-TIMI 61 study has met its primary safety objective, evaluating the reduction in major cardiovascular adverse events in overweight or obese patients with cardiovascular risk factors. Long-term treatment with lorcaserin (branded Belviq) did not increase the risk of these major adverse events.

Looking forward: These findings should assuage some with worries that long-term use of this drug can actually increase the risk of heart complications, since you would hope that an agent that helps patients get their weight under control would also help lower the risk of these complications. This could help expand the market for patients who might be candidates for this drug.

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Omeros gets started on a trial to attack addiction and compulsive disorders

Company: Omeros Corporation (OMER), Daiichi Sankyo (OTCPK:DSKYF)

Therapy: OMS527

Disease: Substance abuse

News: OMER has announced that the first cohort has been dosed in their phase 1 study investigating the PDE7 inhibitor OMS527. This agent has been shown to shift the dopamine pathway, which is thought to be central to the development of addiction and compulsive disorders. The company expects to complete dosing for this trial in the first half of 2019.

Looking forward: As I stated in my article on OMER, I think they were the victim of an attack on false premises. They have largely recovered from their dip last year, and now we are left to wonder whether they can ascend above the $1 billion market cap mark. This adds one more interesting notch in their pipeline's belt, covering a nice span of treatment areas. Of course, it's also very early days for this particular drug program, so investors should be wary about putting too much faith in this development.

Buy, sell, or hold? Locked

Cellectar times a reverse split with interesting efficacy news

Company: Cellectar Biosciences (CLRB)

Therapy: CLR 131

Disease: Relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies

News: CLRB announced findings from one of the patients in their phase 2 study investigating CLR 131 in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cel malignancies. The patient in question, a woman with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, had a 94% reduction in tumor burden, and complete resolution of 4 out of 5 of her masses. In addition, her symptoms relating to her disease resolved.

Looking forward: CLRB timed this news announcement in a way that generated some serious premarket buzz. At one point, it looked as though the stock had climbed over 1000%, when in reality they had gained a more modest 40% or so, which dwindled downward as the day progressed. So they were definitely able to sidestep some of the bad feelings you might expect from a reverse split using preliminary data, but we'll need to see where this is able to go next.

Buy, sell, or hold? Locked

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