Company Overview and News
Merck (MRK - Free Report) announced encouraging data from a phase III study, EORTC1325/KEYNOTE-054, evaluating its anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda, in high-risk stage III melanoma patients in the adjuvant setting. Data from the study demonstrated that as an adjuvant treatment, Keytruda significantly increased recurrence free survival (“RFS”) after surgery compared to placebo in such patients. The drug reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 43% over placebo.
The last week has been an eventful one for pharma stocks with Novartis (NVS - Free Report) announcing that it is acquiring gene therapy company AveXis while Merck (MRK - Free Report) and AbbVie (ABBV - Free Report) announced successful study results. In other news, Pfizer’s (PFE - Free Report) kidney cancer drug, Inlyta missed primary endpoint in a phase III study.
Friday brought some very unwelcome news in oncology. I've written about IDO inhibitors before, partly in the context of an odd situation between Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) and Flexus, and partly in response to a recent failed trial of a compound from NewLink. That last one shook people up a bit, but (as I mentioned in the post) there was still hope for combination of the Incyte drug with Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
The Dow experienced a volatile holiday-shortened week marked by steep gains and losses. Initially, the index increased after tensions over a possible trade war between the United States and China receded. Subsequently, however, tech stocks dragged the broader markets lower. Several major tech stocks suffered a severe beating on disparate concerns. Yields also plunged for a while leading to losses for bank stocks.
Merck and Co. (MRK - Free Report) along with its Japanese partner Eisai Co., Ltd. announced that the latter’s anti-cancer drug Lenvima has received approval in Japan for an expanded indication. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor, Lenvima has been approved in Japan for the first line treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer.
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) announced an oncology collaboration with Japan’s Eisai Co., Ltd to jointly develop and commercialize the latter’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor, Lenvima, both as a monotherapy as well as in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda, for several types of cancer. For the deal, Merck will pay Eisai an upfront amount of $300 million.
AstraZeneca obtains first FDA approval for Imfinzi for stage 3 lung cancer patients with unresectable tumors and those who have not progressed after chemoradiation therapy.
Cue Biopharma is a recent IPO which is looking to address HPV related cancers via interleukin-2 (IL-2), activation of nascent T-cells (not CAR-T) and modulation of autoimmune systems using a novel technology which does not include overall immune suppression. Although their December 27th IPO was well received, grossing $66.2 million at a price of $7.50/share this was just the start for Cue. In the ensuing weeks the shares have almost doubled on the back of a strong biotech rally and general anticipation about immune modulation as it relates to cancer.
As fourth-quarter earnings results are pouring in, the focus is back on the healthcare sector. High on President Trump’s agenda was an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In less than a year, the Trump administration achieved its primary objectives, tax cuts and a new healthcare legislation, through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The new law effectively repeals the individual mandate, which is essential to the proper functioning of Obamacare.
In two January ASCO presentations, BL-8040 showed robust infiltration of anti-tumor T-cells into liver metastases in pancreatic cancer and primes the tumor micro-environment to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy agents.
2018-04-18 - Asif
History and Development of the Company The company's legal and commercial name is RedHill Biopharma Ltd. The company's company was incorporated on August 3, 2009, and was registered as a private company limited by shares under the laws of the State of Israel. The company's principal executive offices are located at 21 Ha’arba’a Street, Tel Aviv, Israel. In February 2011, the company completed its initial public offering in Israel, pursuant to which the company issued 14,302,300 Ordinary Shares, and 7,151,150 tradable Series 1 Warrants to purchase 7,151,150 Ordinary Shares for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $14 million. On December 27, 2012, the company completed the listing of its ADSs on the NASDAQ Capital Market. The company's Ordinary Shares are traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange under the symbol “RDHL,” and its ADSs are traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the same symbol "RDHL". The company's capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2...
2018-04-16 - Asif
Overview SCYNEXIS, Inc. is a biotechnology company committed to positively impacting the lives of patients suffering from difficult-to-treat and often life-threatening infections by delivering innovative anti-infective therapies. SCYNEXIS is developing its lead product candidate, SCY-078, as the first representative of a novel oral and intravenous (IV) triterpenoid antifungal family in clinical development for the treatment of several serious fungal infections, including invasive candidiasis, invasive aspergillosis, refractory invasive fungal infections and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). SCY-078 is a structurally distinct glucan synthase inhibitor that has been shown to be effective in vitro and in vivo against a broad range of human fungi pathogens such as Candida and Aspergillus species, including multidrug-resistant strains, as well as Pneumocystis species. Candida and Aspergillus species are the fungi responsible for approximately 85% of all invasive fungal infections in t...
2018-04-16 - Asif
Business History Enertopia Corp. was formed on November 24, 2004 under the laws of the State of Nevada and commenced operations on November 24, 2004. From inception until April 2010, the company were primarily engaged in the acquisition and exploration of natural resource properties. Beginning in April 2010, the company began its entry into the renewable energy sector by purchasing an interest in a solar thermal design and installation company. In late summer 2013, the company began its entry into medicinal marijuana business. During its 2014 fiscal year end its activities in the clean energy sector were discontinued. During fiscal 2015 its activities in the Medicinal Marijuana sector were discontinued. During fiscal 2016 its activities in the Women’s personal healthcare sector were discontinued. The Company is actively pursuing business opportunities in the resource sector, whereby the company signed a definitive agreement for a Lithium Brine Project in May 2016. In May ...
2018-04-15 - Asif
Overview The company's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. The company's top priority is to build useful and engaging products that enable people to connect and share with friends and family through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces. The company also help people discover and learn about what is going on in the world around them, enable people to share their opinions, ideas, photos and videos, and other activities with audiences ranging from their closest friends to the public at large, and stay connected everywhere by accessing its products, including: Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers. There are a number of different ways to engage with people on Facebook, the most important of which is News Feed which displays an algorithmically-ranked series of stories and advertisements individualized for each pers...
2018-04-12 - Asif
Business Overview Verastem is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. The company's most advanced product candidates, duvelisib and defactinib, utilize a multi-faceted approach to treat cancers originating either in the blood or major organ systems. Verastem is currently evaluating these compounds in both preclinical and clinical studies as potential therapies for certain cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and pancreatic cancer. The company believe that these compounds may be beneficial as therapeutics either as single agents or when used in combination with immuno-oncology agents or other current and emerging standard of care treatments in aggressive cancers that are poorly served by currently available therapies. Duvelisib targets the Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway. The PI3K signaling pathway plays a centr...