Nektar Therapeutics reports positive breast cancer study data. After the bell Immunomedics cancer drug shows promise Print E-mail
By Staff   
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 18:46
Below is a list of the companies that made news in the healthcare sector on Wednesday, June 9, 2010.

Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq:IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases, today announced that pretargeted therapy with TF2, a bispecific antibody against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and a small peptide, delayed tumor growth and prolonged survival in an animal model of human colonic cancer.

Developed with IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Company's majority-owned subsidiary, pretargeting aims at optimizing antibody-directed radiation therapy by separating the administration of the antibody from the delivery of radiation. As a result, the signal at the tumor relative to non-tumor tissues is improved and the amount of the therapeutic in the tumor is selectively enhanced. More importantly, increased amount of radiation can be administered without concomitantly raising the levels of deleterious side-effects.

TF2 is a new generation of bispecific antibodies constructed using the Company's patented Dock-and-Lock (DNL) protein engineering platform technology. It is currently in two early Phase I studies in patients with colorectal cancer.

In the after hours market shares of Immunomedics jumped 16 cents to $3.29.

Earlier in the day:

Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq:NKTR) today announced positive preliminary initial results from a two-stage Phase 2 clinical study evaluating single-agent NKTR-102 in women with advanced/metastatic breast cancer patients who have received a prior taxane. The increased use of taxanes in breast cancer often renders tumors resistant to these drugs by the time the disease recurs, thereby underscoring the urgent need for new treatment options with novel mechanisms of action for metastatic disease.

The single-agent NKTR-102 study recently completed enrollment with a total of 70 patients with metastatic breast cancer. A significant majority of the women had been treated with prior anthracycline/taxane with or without capecitabine. Of the 70 patients, 66 patients are currently evaluable per RECIST for the imaging-based primary endpoint of objective response rate. Confirmed and unconfirmed RECIST responses were 21% (14/66) overall for single-agent NKTR-102, with 18% (6/33) for the q14d dose regimen and 24% (8/33) for the q21d dose regimen. There are a significant number of patients in the study still on therapy with NKTR-102.

"This is a very promising result in patients with metastatic breast cancer who have failed prior taxanes and in most cases, prior anthracyclines," said Prof. Ahmad Awada, Head of the Gynecologic Oncology Clinic at the Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels, Belgium. "I have patients who have not responded to any prior therapy but who have experienced a good response to NKTR-102. These data are quite encouraging, and NKTR-102 should be taken forward as a single agent and in combination therapy in patients with difficult-to-treat disease such as triple-negative breast cancer and anthracycline/taxane failures."

Shares of Nektar jumped more than 5% on the news, rising 58 cents to $11.83.

China Medical Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:CMED), a leading China-based advanced in-vitro diagnostic company, today announced that it has received approval for its SPR-based HPV-DNA chip (the "HPV Chip") from the State Food and Drug Administration of China.

Human papillomavirus ("HPV") is a common virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes of humans and causes various kinds of warts as well as cervical cancer. Over 100 HPV subtypes have been identified, in which 16 high risk HPV subtypes may lead to the development of cervical cancer and 8 low risk HPV subtypes may lead to genital warts. The HPV Chip can detect the high risk genotypes as well as the low risk genotypes by placing a patient's sample on one chip and processing the chip by the Company's fully-automated SPR analyzer. The HPV Chip can also distinguish multiple HPV infection as well as determine the viral load which are all important for physicians to recommend treatment for patients.

Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI) today announced the results of its randomized Phase 2 trial of mapatumumab (HGS-ETR1) in combination with bortezomib (Velcade) in patients with advanced multiple myeloma.

The results showed no difference in disease response or progression-free survival for the combination that included mapatumumab vs. the control group receiving bortezomib alone, and showed that mapatumumab was well tolerated in this study. HGS expects to present the results in full at an appropriate scientific meeting, hopefully later in 2010.

Intellect Neurosciences, Inc (OTCBB:ILNS) announced it has received a Notice of Allowance from the Israeli Patent and Trademark Office for a new patent related to the Company's clinical-stage drug candidate OX1 (OXIGON(TM)), which has disease-modifying potential for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. OX1, which has been successfully tested by the Company in human Phase I safety trials, is an orally-administered, brain-penetrating, naturally-occurring copper-binding small molecule targeting multiple mechanisms that contribute significantly to the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

MDRNA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced today that it obtained exclusive rights to develop, make, use and sell UNA (Unlocked Nucleobase Analog)-based diagnostics from RiboTask ApS, a privately held Denmark-based company specializing in the development and synthesis of novel RNA chemistries. MDRNA expanded its previous agreement with RiboTask for exclusive rights to the development of UsiRNA-based therapeutics to now include the development of UNA-based diagnostics. With the newly acquired exclusive rights to UNA technology combined with the previously acquired exclusive rights to Conformationally Restricted Nucleotide (CRN) technology for both therapeutics and diagnostics, MDRNA has established one of the few intellectual property portfolios supporting a nucleic acid-based personalized medicine platform with the ability to pursue proprietary nucleic acid-based therapeutics and diagnostics. RiboTask retains co-exclusive rights to manufacture, sell and sublicense UNA technology for use in reagents.

TomoTherapy Incorporated (NASDAQ:TOMO), maker of advanced radiation therapy solutions for cancer care, announced today that it has signed an equipment supply group purchasing agreement with MedAssets. Through the agreement, customers of MedAssets' group purchasing organization (GPO) will gain access to the TomoTherapy® technology through an expanded radiation oncology portfolio.

Also Wednesday:

Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) announced today that it will present at the William Blair 30th Annual Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 8:40 a.m. (CT).

BioTime, Inc. (AMEX: BTIM) Chief Executive Officer Michael West, Ph.D., will give a presentation this week at the Inaugural Jefferies Global Life Sciences Conference being held June 8-11, 2010 in New York City.

Cord Blood America, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CBAI) co-founder and CEO Matthew Schissler speaks today at a joint media event of the Nevada Development Authority and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority about the economic advantages for Cord Blood America to move from Southern California to Nevada.

CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) today announced that Larry Merlo, President and Chief Operating Officer, and David Denton, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be making a presentation to investors at the Jefferies 2010 Global Consumer Conference on June 22, 2010. The Company is scheduled to speak at approximately 10:45 a.m. ET.

Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ), a vertically integrated biotechnology company engaged in the research, development, manufacture, licensing and marketing of innovative health care products, platforms and services based on molecular and cellular technologies, today reported financial results for the three and nine months ended April 30, 2010.

Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) and Carl C. Icahn and certain of his affiliated private investment funds announced today an agreement to settle their proxy contest.

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) announced today that it will webcast the company's presentation at the Goldman Sachs Global Healthcare Conference in Los Angeles, California, on June 16, 2010.

Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®) (NYSE: LH) today announced that David P. King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to speak at the William Blair & Company 30th Annual Growth Stock Conference in Chicago, IL.

Macada Holding, Inc. (PINKSHEETS:MCDA) announces its board of directors have approved the subsidiary LyfeTec to engage the South Florida laboratory to begin manufacturing our Bio-Skin line.

Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO), a leading global provider of SaaS-based clinical development solutions, today announced that Synteract has joined Medidata's ASPire to Win® channel partner program.

Millipore Corporation (NYSE: MIL), a leading provider of technologies, tools and services for the global life science industry, today announced that its 3.75% Convertible Senior Notes Due 2026 (the "Notes") will become convertible as part of Merck KGaA's pending acquisition of Millipore.

NovaDel Pharma Inc. (OTCBB: NVDL), today announced the appointment of Craig Johnson as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary effective June 16, 2010. Steven B. Ratoff, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer and Secretary since April 2009.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPHM), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and viral infections, today will present tumor response and progression-free survival data from three clinical Phase II trials of bavituximab at the 9th annual Needham & Company Healthcare Conference in New York.

QuantRx® Biomedical Corporation (OTCBB: QTXB), a broad-based diagnostic company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic products, today announced that it has completed clinical testing of the Q-Reader™ thyroid testing system.

Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: UGNE) announced today the appointment of Ashleigh Palmer as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, replacing Dr. Warren Levy.

Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) today issued the following statement from Kermit R. Crawford, executive vice president of pharmacy, regarding CVS Caremark's statement that it would terminate Walgreens participation in CVS Caremark's retail pharmacy networks effective 30 days from today.

Biotech investors interested in seeing more details about these companies and a full list of their related stories can do so by typing the stock ticker symbol into the Stock Quotes box on the right side of the page.

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