|EpiCept higher on trial initiation. SurModics seeks strategic alternatives. Third times a charm for Cypress Bio. After the bell: SciClone ends study, shares slip|
|By Mary Davila|
|Wednesday, 15 December 2010 19:38|
After the bell, shares of SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCLN) fell after the company announced topline results from the Company's phase 2b clinical trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). The company said that the drug failed the meet the main goal of the trial and based on these results, would stop development of SCV-07. The experimental drug was being tested in combination with an antiviral pill. The company reported that the drug fell short in its efficacy. The company will however continue to develop SCV-07 for the preventative treatment for oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer with the phase IIb set to begin in early 2011.
Shares of SciClone slumped 31 cents or 7.77% to $3.68 in extended trading.
Shares of EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange: EPCT) were on a roll today after the company announced that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has initiated a Phase II trial with crolibulin, an experimental drug for the treatment of thyroid cancer. The mid-stage trial will measure the drug's efficacy and safety in combination with the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin.
"We are encouraged that the NCI has recognized the potential value of crolibulin and initiated a trial in this very deadly disease," stated Jack Talley, EpiCept President and CEO. "A successful trial in this indication has the potential to significantly impact the lives of these patients and further validate EpiCept’s drug discovery platform."
Shares of EpiCept soared 23.43% or 16 cents to close trading at $0.86.
Shares of SurModics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SRDX) surged Wednesday after the company announced late Tuesday that is seeking strategic alternatives including a sale of the company's Pharmaceutical business. The company has hired Piper Jaffray as its financial advisor for the process. The Pharmaceutical unit has been a drag on earnings as of late and will lose more than $10 million in 2011.
"SurModics’ Board of Directors and management team have been intently focused on returning the Company to profitable growth," said Robert C. Buhrmaster, chairman of the Board of Directors. "In recent months, we have implemented initiatives intended to reduce the Company’s cost structure to bring it more in line with customer demand and expected revenue. We also put in place a new organizational structure that provides enhanced accountability, improved efficiency and more effective resource deployment."
On heavy volume, SurModics gained $1.97 or 19% to $12.37.
Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:CYPB) finally approved an aquisition of the company by Ramius and Royalty Pharma for $6.50 per shares in cash. The company had previously rejected offers of $4.00 and $6.00 by the hedge fund. Shares gained 70 cents or 12.17% to $6.45.
Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq:ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the company 510(k) clearance to market Lung Optimized Treatment, a new component of the CyberKnife® VSI System. The 510(k) clearance enables Accuray to provide physicians with greater flexibility in delivering radiosurgery treatments to patients with lung cancer, the most common and deadly cancer worldwide.
Recent studies have found radiosurgery to be an effective treatment option for medically inoperable lung cancer patients as it provides good local control and survival rates. Treating these tumors is particularly complex due to movement with respiration and nearby critical structures. This is especially the case for central and chest wall tumors, which are located in close proximity to such critical anatomical structures.
Lung Optimized Treatment offers the accuracy and steep dose fall off required to safely treat lung tumors, even those close to such critical structures. Simulation and comparison workflows, combined with unique tracking modes, allow the clinician to select from multiple, non-invasive options, providing lung SBRT patients the optimal non-invasive treatment option, regardless of tumor location.
"Lung Optimized Treatment is a new tool we developed to meet the clinical demand for more flexibility in treating lung cancer patients with radiosurgery and the desire to move away from reliance on fiducial markers," said Chris A. Raanes, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Accuray. "This new technology enables treatments throughout the lung without a single incision, all while safeguarding healthy tissue and structures around the tumor to ensure they are not damaged by radiation."
Shares rose 5.28% or 33 cents to $6.58.
ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex:ANX) today announced it has submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to schedule a meeting for the purpose of discussing its product candidate ANX-514 (docetaxel emulsion for injection).