Healthcare Review: Arrowhead Research, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Cellectar Biosciences, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, OncoMed Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 13 June 2014 13:30
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, boosted by bullish news from the tech sector, though major indexes remained on track to snap a multi-week string of weekly gains. Despite the day's rise, investors remained cautious about ongoing violence in Iraq, which has taken oil prices to their highest since September. Analysts are worried about the impact a protracted period of high commodity prices could have on economic growth, especially with indexes near record levels.

Shares of Arrowhead Research ($ARWR -16.1%) are down on heavy volume in response to the patent award to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ($ALNY -0.2%) expanding its McSwiggen patent estate for RNAi therapeutics. The just-awarded patent (no. 8,618,277) covers the development of RNAi therapeutics for HBV. One of Arrowhead's lead product candidates is ARC-520, an RNAi-based therapeutic for the treatment of chronic HBV infection.

The FDA approves the use of Navidea Biopharmaceuticals' ($NAVB -7.4%) radioactive imaging agent Lymphoseek for use in sentinel lymph node biopsies. Sentinel lymph nodes are those closest to a primary tumor for cancer. This new indication allows for more limited lymph node surgery in patients with sentinel nodes negative for cancer.

Cellectar Biosciences ($CLRB +8.6%) announces a 1:20 reverse split of its common stock effective at today's close of business. Post-split shares will begin trading Monday morning. The move will reduce the number of outstanding shares from ~57M to ~2.8M. The firm also decreases the number of authorized shares from 150M to 20M.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics ($BCLI -10.9%) raises gross proceeds of $10.5M in a private placement of common stock and warrants. It sells 42M shares of common at $0.25 (15% discount). Buyers also receive warrants to purchase 42M shares of common at $0.348/share. They are immediately exercisable and have a term of three years.

Shares of OncoMed ($OMED -19%) are down on higher volume in response to the company's announcement that it has voluntarily halted patient enrollment and dosing in two clinical trails due to higher-than-expected adverse events. In a Phase 1a study of vantictumab, 8 of 63 (13%) patients have experienced bone-related adverse events. In a Phase 1a study of Fzd8-Fc, 2 of 41 (5%) have experienced the same adverse events.


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