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Biotech Market Poised to Reach 2015 Highs

 

Date: 2018-03-28

News Type: Expo News

 

Biotechnology stocks are approaching highs achieved in 2015, as reflected by the Nasdaq Biotech Index.  Good science is beginning to overcome bad publicity.  Included in today's commentary:  Propanc Biopharma Inc. (OTC: PPCB), Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDASQ: INNT), Geron Corporation (NASDASQ: GERN), Leap Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDASQ: LPTX), OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDASQ: ONCS) .

 

After 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli and Valeant muddied public sentiment with some questionable practices, the sector seems to have corrected and is back to being about what it should be...medical advancements that benefit the public health and investors alike. The biotech sector also continues to benefit from potential M&A, faster drug approvals, strong risk appetite, and improving public sentiment.  Maybe most importantly, at the end of the day, large-cap pharmaceutical companies are under tremendous pressure to improve returns.  This factor led to self-regulation causing an increase in M&A and drug approvals. Some interesting biotechnology companies to take a look at include: Propanc Biopharma Inc. (OTCQB: PPCB), Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDASQ: INNT), Geron Corporation (NASDASQ: GERN), Leap Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDASQ: LPTX), OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDASQ: ONCS), and Arena Pharmaceuticals.

 

Propanc Biopharma Inc. (OTCQB: PPCB)

Market Cap: 2.012M, current share price: $.095 

Propanc Biopharma, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on development of new and proprietary treatments for cancer patients suffering from solid tumors such as pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers, recently announced the successful reproduction run of the manufacturing process for the Company's two drug substances trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen. The successful reproduction run demonstrates scalability of Propanc's proprietary manufacturing process to enable routine production of the two active substances for the Company's lead product candidate, PRP. The process was developed in collaboration with a European Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) experienced in the production of biopharmaceuticals.

 

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDASQ: INNT)

Market Cap: $658.99M, current share price: $25.65 

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel autoimmune and inflammation therapeutics, announced  Dr. June Almenoff has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Almenoff brings a strong track record of success in biopharma leadership.

 

Dr. Almenoff was previously President and Chief Medical Officer at Furiex Pharmaceuticals, where during her 4-year tenure the company's valuation increased ~10-fold, culminating in its acquisition by Actavis plc (now Allergan) for more than $1.2B in 2014.  Furiex's lead product, eluxadoline (Viberzi®), a novel gastrointestinal drug, is approved in both the US and EU.  Prior to joining Furiex, Dr. Almenoff held various positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline PLC.  During her 12 years at GSK, she was a Vice-President in the Clinical Safety organization, chaired a PhRMA-FDA working group and worked in scientific licensing.  Dr. Almenoff also led the development of pioneering systems for minimizing risk in drug development, which has been widely adopted by industry and regulators.

 

Geron Corporation (NASDASQ: GERN)

Market Cap: $906.08M, current share price: $5.64 

Geron Corporation recently announced that John A. Scarlett, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the 17th Annual Needham Healthcare Conference in New York at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

 

A live webcast of the presentation will be available through the Investor Relations pages of Geron's website and at http://wsw.com/webcast/needham86/gern/ . Following the live presentation, the webcast will be archived and available for replay at the same address for a period of 30 days.

 

Leap Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDASQ: LPTX)

Market Cap: $105.50M, current share price: $8.54 

Leap Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing targeted and immuno-oncology therapeutics, announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 1,866,667 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $7.50 per share. The gross proceeds to Leap from this offering are expected to be approximately $14.0 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by Leap.  All shares of common stock to be sold in the offering are being sold by Leap.  In addition, Leap has granted to the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an aggregate of an additional 280,000 shares of its common stock offered in the public offering at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering is expected to close on or about March 27, 2018, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

 

OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDASQ: ONCS)

Market Cap: $91.12M, current share price: $1.77 

OncoSec Medical Incorporated, a company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, announced a strategic relocation of its office and lab in San Diego that is expected to provide immediate and significant cost-savings of approximately $65,000 per month.

 

"I joined OncoSec with the goal of leading the Company toward the successful completion of its Phase 2b registration-directed trial, PISCES/KEYNOTE-695, with data anticipated this year and a potential submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019," stated Daniel J. O'Connor, CEO of OncoSec. "Operational improvements such as this office and lab relocation are an important element of our efforts to maximize resources and efficiently invest our capital in our clinical trials."

 

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  

Market Cap: $41.18M, current share price: $41.88 

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 8,500,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $41.50 per share. All of the shares are being sold by Arena. The gross proceeds from the offering are expected to be approximately $352.8 million, before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. The offering is expected to close on March 26, 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. In addition, Arena has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,275,000 additional shares of its common stock at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions.

 

- PRNewswire -

 

 

 

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