PALM BEACH, Florida, September 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
As biotech and pharma stocks power through new resistance levels in the markets, the sector is being fueled by the latest positive FDA developments and notable clinical trial advancements that appear to be driving retail investors to invest in cancer-fighting cell therapies among other advancement treatments and therapeutic drugs. Biotech stocks continue the resurgent performance and are near 1-year highs for companies such as: Moleculin Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX), Insmed Incorporated (NASDAQW: INSM), Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: IOVA), XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ: XOMA) and Juno Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO)
Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (NASDAQ: MBRX), a preclinical pharmaceutical company focused on the development of anti-cancer drug candidates, some of which are based on license agreements with The University of Texas System on behalf of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, today announced it has entered into a collaborative agreement with the University of Bergen to test WP1122 in combination with the drug Avastin (bevacizumab) made by Roche Pharma. Roche Pharma is not a party to the collaborative agreement. Read this and more news for Moleculin Biotech at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/mbrx.html
"The potential for synergy with Roche's drug is compelling," commented Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin. "Avastin showed early promise in the treatment of brain tumors, but its usefulness has been hampered by the ability of brain tumors to develop resistance to anti-vascular therapy. Avastin prevents formation of new blood vessels including blood vessels that feed growing tumors and, as such, creates an environment where tumors become more dependent on glycolysis (a means of producing energy induced by a limited oxygen supply from the blood) enabling a potential form of therapy resistance. We've shown in animal models that WP1122 as an inhibitor of glycolysis limits tumor growth and increases survival in animals transplanted with human brain tumors, so it is logical to consider that WP1122 could potentially be an effective way to deal with Avastin resistance, as a follow up treatment, or in combination with Avastin."
"We have developed novel human brain tumor models in mice that display Avastin-resistance mice," added Dr. Rolf Bjerkvig, Professor at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen in Norway, "that should allow us to validate the efficacy of WP1122 inhibition of Avastin-induced glycolysis. This may represent a breakthrough in treating brain tumors by using WP1122 in combination with Avastin. We are eager to explore this potential through our collaboration with Moleculin."
In other industry news and happenings around the sector:
Insmed Incorporated (NASDAQW: INSM) closed up over 119% on Tuesday with a volume north of 27.3 million traded by the market close. The company recently announced has commenced an underwritten public offering of $250 million of shares of its common stock. All of the shares of common stock in the offering would be sold by Insmed. In addition, Insmed intends to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the shares of common stock offered in the public offering at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount. The offering is subject to market and other conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.
Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: IOVA) closed up over 8% on Tuesday with over 900,000 shares traded on the day. The company recently announced that it will webcast a business overview and update by Dr. Maria Fardis, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Iovance Biotherapeutics at the following upcoming investor conferences: Rodman & Renshaw 19th Annual Global Investment Conference in New York, NY on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 11:40 a.m. ET and 2017 Cantor Fitzgerald Global Healthcare Conference in New York, NY on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. ET A live audio webcast of both presentations will be available by visiting the Investors section Iovance Biotherapeutics' website at http://ir.iovance.com/. A replay of the webcast will be archived on Iovance Biotherapeutics' website for 30 days following the presentation.
XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ: XOMA) came to a close up over 44% on Tuesday with a volume north of 1.8 million by the market close. The company recently announced it has licensed the global commercial rights to gevokizumab, a novel anti-IL-1 beta allosteric monoclonal antibody, to Novartis. In a separate agreement, XOMA has granted Novartis a license to its intellectual property covering the use of IL-1 beta targeting antibodies in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Under these agreements, XOMA will receive $31 million in upfront payments, including a $5 million equity investment, and is eligible to receive significant pre- and post-commercialization milestone payments plus tiered high-single to mid-double-digit royalties on net sales of gevokizumab. XOMA is also eligible to receive low-single-digit royalties on canakinumab sales in cardiovascular indications rising to mid-single-digit royalties under certain circumstances. Novartis has agreed to settle XOMA's €12 million debt to Les Laboratoires Servier and extend the maturity date on XOMA's debt to Novartis from September 2020 to September 2022.
Juno Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO) closed up slightly on Tuesday with over 3 million shares traded on the day. The company recently announced that it will webcast its presentations at two investor conferences in September. The presentations will feature a business overview and update by Steve Harr, Juno's Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development. Juno will present at Citi's 12th Annual Biotech Conference at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Thursday, September 7, 2017. Juno will present at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The webcasts will be accessible on the Investor Relations page of Juno's website at http://www.JunoTherapeutics.com. A replay of each presentation will be available at the same location for 30 days following the corresponding conference.
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