B I O T E C H ’ S M O S T R E S P E C T E D N E W S S O U R C E F O R O V E R 1 5 Y E A R S
KAI’s PKC Program Nabs
Tioga’s Series A Round: $24M
$340M Deal With Sankyo
For Phase IIb Trial Of IBS Drug
KAI Pharmaceuticals Inc. signed a potential $340 mil- Six months after licensing a promising early stage lion deal expected to be announced today with Daiichi product for irritable bowel syndrome, Tioga Pharmaceuti- Sankyo Co. Ltd. for the global development and commer- cals Inc. raised $24 million in a Series A round to launch As KAI’s first pharma alliance since mid-2003, when it The product, asimadoline, is a small molecule licensed was founded on protein kinase C (PKC) modulation tech- from its discoverer, Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany.
nology licensed from Stanford University, the deal with Proceeds from the financing will fund a 600-patient Phase Sankyo not only provides the privately held South San IIb study of asimadoline for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Francisco-based company with an up-front cash infusion and a 130-patient Phase IIa trial for postoperative ileus.
of $20 million, but also “paves the way for us to commer- “The money will take the company through to the com- cialize our own products someday,” said Steven James, pletion” of those trials, said Stuart Collinson, Tioga’s acting KAI will retain the right to co-promote products in the By taking the numbers of patients with IBS and making North American acute care and hospital market.
“some assumptions about pricing in line with currently How Leukemia Cells Rule
Millennium’s CEO Pledges
Neighbors: With Iron Fist
Still More Velcade Growth
“The transition from a normal to a cancer cell takes Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. provided a confer- many steps,” Michael Green told BioWorld Today. But for ence call update in which the firm again predicted prof- chronic myelogenous leukemia, one major step is the gen- itability in 2006, and forecast annual sales of its multiple eration of the tyrosine kinase Bcr-Abl, a constantly active myeloma drug Velcade in the range of $225 million to $250 million – a revenue goal that raised the eyebrows of In the Dec. 29, 2005, issue of Cell, Green and his col- leagues from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and But the company’s president and CEO, Deborah Dun- University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, sire, said she intends to hit those numbers, and referred to reported on one molecular mechanism by which Bcr-Abl the proteasome inhibitor as “a terrific product that hasn’t contributes to leukemia. The experiments are part of yet made the most out of all the data” supporting it, even broader work teasing apart the complex interplay between iron, gene expression, cell death and a secreted protein The company’s stock (NASDAQ:MLNM) closed Friday at INSIDE:OTHERNEWSTONOTE(JAPAN’SCANBASRAISES$20M).2-5,7
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Intersouth Partners, of Durham, N.C.; Polaris Venture Part-ners, of Waltham, Mass.; Boston Millennia Partners, of Boston; Hunt Ventures, of Dallas; and Eastman Ventures, ofKingsport, Tenn. Proceeds will go toward advancing the • Acacia Research Corp., of Newport Beach, Calif., company’s products through field trials and onto registra- said that its CombiMatrix group signed a nonexclusive tion. Athenix focuses on discovering genes and proteins agreement with the University of Colorado Health Sciences to develop enhanced plants, microbes, enzymes and pro- Center under the company’s CombiCore access program.
Under the agreement, all University of Colorado • Athersys Inc., of Cleveland, extended its existing researchers can purchase, through their microarray facility, alliance with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
CombiMatrix’ CustomArrays and Catalog Arrays, including to provide BMS with additional validated drug targets for array processing services performed at the university high-throughput screening and lead optimization in multi- ple therapeutic areas. The new agreement will extend the • Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said it expects alliance for up to three years, with a guaranteed minimum that product and product-related revenues will be about number of targets to be supplied by Athersys annually.
$15 million below previous guidance for the fourth quarter, Under the terms, Athersys is entitled to license fees, as well due to low instrument sales for the quarter and delays in as milestones and royalties on compounds developed by completing genotyping processing under a service con- tract. Previous guidance projected product revenue for the • Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, three months ending Dec. 31 at $120 million. Shares of Mass., said data from a Phase III study of Rotarix, its two- Affymetrix (NASDAQ:AFFX) fell $3.63 Friday, to close at dose oral rotavirus vaccine, demonstrated safety and effi- cacy. Results were published in the Jan. 5, 2005, issue of the • Arginox Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Ill., New England Journal of Medicine. Rotarix is partnered with appointed Robert Terifay as president and CEO. Terifay London-based GlaxoSmithKline plc for worldwide com- most recently served as commercial leader on the execu- tive management team of Synta Pharmaceuticals. Arginox • BioDelivery Sciences International Inc., of Mor- is focused on medicines to treat hospitalized patients.
risville, N.C., submitted an investigational new drug appli- • Asuragen Inc., of Austin, Texas, said it will fund cation for its BEMA Long Acting Analgesic (LA) product activities with $35 million in proceeds from the Dec. 23, aimed at offering an alternative administration of an exist- sale of Austin, Texas-based Ambion Inc.’s research prod- ing marketed narcotic for moderate to severe pain. BETA LA ucts division to Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster will be formulated using BDSI’s BEMA technology platform, City, Calif. Recently established, Asuragen is led by Matt consisting of a fast-dissolving mucoadhesive disc Winkler, founder and CEO of Ambion, and is comprised of designed to deliver the active ingredient across the buccal three business units: Molecular Diagnostics (formerly Ambion Diagnostics Inc.), Molecular Biology Services (for- • BioMS Medical Corp., of Edmonton, Alberta, exer- merly Ambion Services) and the research and development cised its option to purchase additional equity in BioCyDex Inc., also of Edmonton, bringing BioMS Medical’s total equity • Athenix Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., position to 49 percent. BioCyDex is developing a drug deliv- raised $1 3 million in a Series C round led by new investor ery technology to deliver both existing and new antiviral and Finistere Partners, of San Diego. Other investors were chemotherapeutic compounds directly into cells.
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Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, affects about 10 million people in the U.S. and is a chronic condition marked by approved therapies,” he told BioWorld Today, “you can quite abdominal pain and disturbed bowel function. Health care quickly get to a market size of about $10 billion [worldwide] costs associated with the disease exceed $25 billion annually.
Some companies have found IBS to be a difficult dis- Tioga operates as a virtual company based in San ease to treat. Pain Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, Diego and was founded as a Merck spinout in July. Forward terminated development last month of its IBS drug, PTI-901, Ventures founded it, convincing Merck that asimadoline which showed a statistically meaningful relief in the sec- had a better chance of succeeding as the sole focus for ond month of treatment in a Phase III trial, but not in the Tioga than it would sitting on a shelf at a large pharma- third month of treatment, which was the primary endpoint.
ceutical company. Merck retained an equity interest in (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 13, 2005.) Tioga and, if asimadoline is approved, it is entitled to roy- There are two products approved for IBS: Zelnorm, by Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG; and Lotronex, by “They publicly realigned the company into a couple of London-based GlaxoSmithKline plc. Both carry warnings of therapeutic areas, cardiometabolic and cancer,” said adverse events, such as ischemic colitis, constipation and Collinson, who also is a partner at Forward Ventures. “This drug didn’t fit into [Merck’s] portfolio.” “We hope that our medicine is going to have a better After putting up the initial money for Tioga last sum- profile,” Collinson said, adding that asimadoline, a kappa- mer, San Diego-based Forward Ventures led the Series A opioid agonist, has a different mechanism of action than round and was joined by investors New Leaf Venture Part- ners, of New York, and BB Biotech Ventures II, of Zurich,Switzerland.
Asimadoline has been tested in almost 800 people and has demonstrated a promising safety profile andencouraging clinical efficacy for the treatment of irrita-ble bowel syndrome. It also appears to have potential • Breakthrough Therapeutics, of Greenwich, for treating other gastrointestinal diseases, such as Conn., said interim Phase II data of VAX100 for patients postoperative ileus, which is decreased or stopped with persistent chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who were on imatinib mesylate (Gleevec, Novartis AG) demon- Tioga may decide to in-license other products “if we strated an immunological response in 17 of 18 patients see something that is particularly attractive,” Collinson who showed peptide specific T-cell response. The vaccine said, but its main focus for now is on asimadoline, its only has displayed a good safety profile with injection site product. The Phase IIb trial in IBS will take about 18 months reactions as the only side effect. VAX100 is a Bcr-Abl pep- to complete and, at that point, Forward Ventures will make tide vaccine designed to reduce persistent disease in patients with CML whom have had stable disease during It might decide to sell the company, enter a partnership conventional therapy. The ongoing trial is being con- or raise more money and take asimadoline into Phase III tri- ducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and MD To subscribe, please call BIOWORLD® Customer Service at (800) 688-2421; outside the U.S. and Canada, call (404) 262-5476.
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The epsilon PKC activator “would be targeted for pre- Beyond the initial payment, KAI could receive develop- conditioning, or protecting against ischemia in a number of ment and commercialization milestones of up to $300 mil- surgical situations, such as coronary artery bypass graft lion for the first two indications for KAI-9803, plus mile- stones for other potential PKC inhibitors and a double-digit “If a surgeon knows they’re going to be creating ischemia by clamping off an organ or causing potential Tokyo-based Sankyo agreed to fund all future develop- debris or emboli to go through the system and potentially ment in exchange for global development and commercial- block an artery, they can give this drug prior to that surgery KAI also will continue to actively participate in further KAI retains full ownership of the epsilon PKC program, delta PKC inhibitor development. The company will have and James said the company plans to advance it through the option to perform certain clinical studies with KAI- proof of concept as rapidly as possible.
9803, and KAI also could receive another $20 million over “Our goal is to be a leader in approaching PKC modula- five years from Sankyo to identify new delta PKC com- tion,” he said. “The PKC family is involved in a number of pounds, routes of administration and indications.
disease processes, and there’s a potential for a very deep “This target is really kind of a pipeline in itself,” James pipeline that we can develop in partnerships and on our told BioWorld Today, “and it would be too difficult for us as a small company to fully exploit it by ourselves.” The deal Besides ischemia, drugs targeting PKC also could be provides KAI with both “access to Sankyo’s deep cardiovas- developed in neuropathic pain, oncology and inflammatory cular expertise and the ability to conduct some develop- The lead product, KAI-9803, a delta protein kinase C inhibitor, was granted fast-track status by the FDA and recently started enrollment in a 150-patient Phase I/II study(DELTA-MI) to evaluate the product’s safety and efficacy inpatients with acute myocardial infarction undergoing • CanBas Co. Ltd., of Shizuoka, Japan, raised about reperfusion via balloon angioplasty. Results from the trial $20 million in its fourth financing round, which closed Nov.
are expected around the middle of the year. 30. The round was co-led by NIF SMBC Ventures and MVC KAI-9803 is designed to reduce the damage from (Mitsui Ventures), and included Nikko antfactory, MBL Ven- reperfusion, or the reopening of blocked blood vessels, and ture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Nomura Securities, and Marubeni. CanBas develops drugs that target the G2 check- When a patient arrives at the hospital with chest pains, point, and are in Phase I studies with its lead compound, and a blocked coronary artery is observed during an angiogram, the patient requires a balloon angioplasty to • Cardinal Health Inc., of Dublin, Ohio, entered a fea- reopen the vessel and restore blood flow. But that reperfu- sibility and commercial option agreement with Centocor sion can “kick off a dual cascade of cell death, as well as Inc., of Malvern, Pa., to develop cell lines using Cardinal necrosis in that injured heart tissue, which can lead to con- Health’s gene product expression cell line engineering gestive heart failure, morbidity and, potentially, death,” technology. Cardinal Health will use its patented GPEx tech- nology to engineer cell lines expressing undisclosed Cen- KAI-9803 is administered through the balloon catheter directly into the coronary artery just prior to • China Biopharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., of Nan- jing, Jiangsu province, China, said that on Dec. 31 it entered “What we showed in numerous animal studies is that an agreement with the shareholders of Chengdu Tianyin [KAI-9803] can greatly reduce those damaging effects,” he Pharmaceutical Ltd. Co., of Chengdu, Sichuan province, added. The drug showed an effect in size of the infarct and China, to immediately assume operation control of Tianyin area of tissue death, and “we found that we could reduce in all aspects of its business operations and to acquire a 51 that by a significant amount, up to 70 percent.” percent ownership interest in Tianyin. The company will be Preclinical work also demonstrated the drug’s ability to issuing 3 million shares of its common stock to the share- improve microvascular blood flow following reperfusion.
holders of Tianyin, or their designees, and has agreed to KAI-9803 also might be effective in other ischemic indi- invest $2 million into Tianyin operations. An additional 300,000 shares of common stock will be issued to share- KAI hopes to file an investigational new drug applica- holders of Tianyin, or their designees, if Tianyin’s after-tax tion this year for a second compound derived from its PKC audited profit for the year ended Dec. 31 reaches at least modulation platform. Unlike KAI-9803, which inhibits the To subscribe, please call BIOWORLD® Customer Service at (800) 688-2421; outside the U.S. and Canada, call (404) 262-5476.
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Iron Fist
Intracellular iron levels, in turn, affect a cell’s penchant for suicide, or apoptosis, in an inverse relationship; that is, 24p3 is a known pro-apoptotic protein, and the scien- the lower the intracellular iron, the higher the likelihood of tists wanted to investigate the relationship between 24p3 apoptosis. Green said that under physiological conditions, and Bcr-Abl. “The simplest model that we imagined was “the weight of the evidence” favors the idea that most that Bcr-Abl was preventing 24p3 from being expressed,” 24p3s are empty and thus bind intracellular iron and said Green, professor of molecular medicine and senior remove it from the cell, lowering iron levels.
author of the paper. “That turned out to be 180 degrees Green and his colleagues investigated the exact mech- anism by which iron deprivation drives cells to suicide.
Instead, Bcr-Abl up-regulates 24p3, which should have They were guided by the knowledge that interleukin-3 the opposite effect of the extended life span that leukemia deprivation induces the pro-apoptotic protein Bim, a mem- cells have. “These cells should be dead,” Green said.
ber of the well-known Bcl-2 family, which is already in the The reason they are not is that Bcr-Abl, by an unknown sights of biotechnology firms such as Berkeley Heights, mechanism, also prevents the expression of the 24p3 N.J.-based Genta Inc. and Montreal’s Gemin X Biotechnolo- receptor. That renders the cancerous cells resistant to their gies Inc. (See BioWorld Today, Dec 13, 2005, and Dec 30, own 24p3 and changes the balance of power between leukemia cells and their normal neighbors. Studies confirmed that “empty” 24p3 increased Bim “Any normal cell in the vicinity gets killed because it levels; interfering with Bim levels via RNA interference has the 24p3 receptor,” Green said.
reversed the effects of 24p3, as did the addition of either Novartis AG’s chronic myeloid leukemia drug, Gleevec free iron or iron-bound 24p3, and prevented apoptosis in (imatinib), blocks Bcr-Abl activity. As a result, several biotechnology companies, including New York-based Inno- Green’s lab is working on determining whether other vive Pharmaceuticals Inc., as well as Structural GenomiX oncogenic tyrosine kinases, like Bcr-Abl, alter the expres- Inc. and Ambit Biosciences Inc., both of San Diego, are sion of 24p3 and its receptor. While he described his own working on treatments for Gleevec-resistant CML. There space as a basic research lab, his group is “certainly inter- also is Breakthrough Therapeutics, of Greenwich, Conn.
ested” in the clinical applications of the discovery. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 9, 2004, and Jan. 6, 2006.) “We’d be happy to work with anyone who has a clinical In the experiments presented in Cell, Gleevec increased the expression of the 24p3 receptor in cells expressing theBcr-Abl kinase; as a consequence, the cells no longer wereprotected from 24p3’s apoptotic effects. Green said that “in patients with leukemia, if you were able to intervene toinhibit 24p3,” – either through an antibody against circulat-ing 24p3 or via a small molecule at the transcriptional level • Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bridgewater, N.J., – “it could have a beneficial effect, particularly in instances said it is returning its rights to ATG-Fresenius S, a poly- clonal antibody preparation used for T-lymphocyte sup- Green and his colleagues discovered 24p3 as a pro- pression, to Fresenius Biotech GmbH, a subsidiary of Bad apoptotic gene while studying how growth factor depriva- Homburg, Germany-based Fresenius AG. The product tion drives cells to suicide. In those studies, which were was being evaluated in the prevention of organ graft published in Science in 2001, they demonstrated that inter- rejection in organ transplant patients. Enzon said its leukin-3 deprivation leads to the up-regulation of 24p3, decision to return product rights was based on its ongo- and that 24p3 induced apoptosis. The details of the exper- ing efforts to redirect research and development invest- iments reported in Science led Green and his colleagues to ments to projects aligned with its business objectives, believe that there must be a cellular receptor for 24p3, and with an increasing focus in cancer and adjacent thera- the work described in Cell began with the isolation and • Favrille Inc., of San Diego, secured a $20 million At the membrane, the receptor can bind 24p3 whether line of credit through loan and security agreements with 24p3 itself is bound to iron or not. In both cases, 24p3 is General Electric Capital Corp. and Oxford Financial Corp.
taken up into cells, but with opposite consequences. Once The debt financing will be used to fund the company’s in the cell, iron-bound 24p3 will ditch its load (which actu- facility expansion to support commercial-scale manu- ally consists of a complex of iron with a so-called facturing of FavId, Favrille’s lead candidate in Phase III siderophore) and return to the membrane empty. An empty trials for the treatment of follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin’s 24p3 molecule, in contrast, will acquire an intracellular lymphoma. The company believes the expanded facility iron-siderophore complex and extrude it from the cell will be able to supply FavId for up to 4,000 patients per To subscribe, please call BIOWORLD® Customer Service at (800) 688-2421; outside the U.S. and Canada, call (404) 262-5476.
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When physicians know that, they think about Velcade dif- Dunsire pointed to results offered at the recent Ameri- Educating physicians with an expanded sales force – can Society of Hematology in Atlanta testing Velcade alone while making the most of the data now available and gath- or in combination with other commonly used agents in pre- ering more – will be Millennium’s main tasks. viously untreated multiple myeloma, resulting in overall For example, the company knows that “not all patients response rates as high as 92 percent, with complete are getting eight cycles [of therapy],” Dunsire said. “If you want to buy in to the survival advantage, it comes with Cambridge, Mass.-based Millennium also reported that Velcade (bortezomib), used alone or in combination, in a Among the skeptics is analyst Jim Reddoch, with Fried- range of multiple myeloma populations showed overall man, Billings, Ramsey & Co. in Arlington, Va., who called the response rates of up to 78 percent in relapsed and refrac- midpoint of Millennium’s Velcade sales guidance “tough to tory patients, a population in which the landmark Phase III achieve,” and noted in a research report that the firm APEX trail demonstrated a median 30-month survival bene- expects modest net income of up to $5 million this year, “basically in line with previous guidance. Breakeven is “We’ve known about [the potential as a combination made achievable more by layoffs than top-line growth.” therapy] all through Velcade’s life, but we really saw that at In the works at Millennium is a Phase III trial with Vel- ASH,” Dunsire told BioWorld Today. What’s more, it can be cade comparing the compound with and without Rituxan used across a broad range of patients, even those with (rituximab), from South San Francisco-based Genentech Inc., against relapsed/refractory, indolent non-Hodgkin’s The compound won approval for third-line treatment lymphoma, as well as a study in lung cancer.
of multiple myeloma in May 2003 on data from a 202- Both of those ventures are “high risk,” in Reddoch’s patient Phase II study known as the SUMMIT trial, showing view, and he predicted no other Phase III studies by Millen- median survival time in relapsed and refractory patients to nium until at least 2007. Another candidate, MLN2704 for 16.4 months. They usually die six to nine months after they prostate cancer, seems unlikely to reach Phase III, he added, given the company’s “tepid comments” during the confer- Cleared in the second-line setting in March, Velcade sold $192 million last year, a jump of 34 percent over the Dunsire said that when Millennium “put [MLN2704] in previous year, Millennium reported, which means fourth- Phase I proof of concept, we were looking for some activity, quarter sales hit $52 million, in line with Wall Street esti- which we did see, but we also saw some neuropathy mates. Millennium has vowed to grow Velcade sales develop. We’ve opened a final cohort and that’s what we’re another 17 percent to 30 percent this year.
moving through now.” A decision on the next step is “We have three front-line trials running,” Dunsire said, expected in the first half of this year, she said. and a label expanded to include those patients could mean Another compound moving along, though, is even better things for Velcade. “Any of those trials could MLN1 202, the CCR2 blocker that in August began a 1 10- patient Phase II trial in patients at risk for atherosclerotic Meanwhile, Velcade finds itself under pressure from cardiovascular disease. Two other proof-of-concept trials Warren, N.J.-based Celgene Corp.’s Revlimid (lenalidomide, are ongoing, as well, including one in rheumatoid arthritis a derivative of Thalomid, the company’s brand name for and one in multiple sclerosis. Another in sclerodoma will thalidomide), which gained FDA clearance in late Decem- ber for myelodysplastic syndromes. A supplemental NDA “We should be able to look at RA and [the atherosclero- filing is expected shortly, seeking the go-ahead to offi- sis data] during the second half of 2006,” said Dunsire, who cially target multiple myeloma. (See BioWorld Today, Dec.
took over during the summer as the replacement for Mark Levin, who also is Millennium’s co-founder. She left her post Dunsire was quick to point out that Velcade is “the only as head of oncology operations in North America for Novar- single agent ever shown to provide a survival advantage” in tis Pharmaceuticals Corp., of East Hanover, N.J., the U.S. affil- multiple myeloma, which she called “really a key driver.
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rants. The investors were also entitled to purchase addi-tional shares of SIGA’s stock for a gross amount of up to $2 million at an initial price of $1.10 per share for a period of 90trading days following the effectiveness of a registration • Immunicon Corp., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., statement. The event has pushed SIGA back in Nasdaq entered a supply and marketing license agreement with Kreatech Biotechnology BV, of Amsterdam, the Nether- • Nobex Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., lands, for Kreatech’s Universal Linkage System technology.
launched a marketing initiative to promote bidding on its The agreement enables Immunicon to use ULS technology intellectual property rights and other assets. The company in conjunction with its own technologies, and develop filed for bankruptcy protection Dec. 1, 2005, after 12 years assays for use in confirming whether certain epithelial cells of research operations. During that time, the company are cancerous. Financial terms were not disclosed.
developed a portfolio of 300 patents and patent applica- • Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, expanded its tions, including several protein and peptide product candi- antithrombotic research collaboration with Jawed Fareed, dates that have been in clinical study.
of the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in May- • Perlegen Sciences Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., wood, Ill. The company’s antithrombotic agents have began a collaboration with South San Francisco-based demonstrated a dual antiplatelet/anticoagulant mecha- Genentech Inc. to study the genetics of cancer. Findings nism of action, indicating potential in the management of from the study could potentially be applied to the discov- cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases such as ery and development of targeted medicines and molecular myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary emboli and diagnostics for the disease. Terms of the agreement were peripheral arterial disease. The expanded collaboration will involve a number of new preclinical studies with the objec-tive of moving a lead candidate into the clinic. Medicure’slead product in the antithrombotic program is MC-45308.
The company raised C$12 million in a bought deal financ-ing earlier this month. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 5, 2006.) • NexMed Inc., of Robbinsville, N.J., received a notice UCB, of Brussels, Belgium, appointed Bill Robinson from Nasdaq indicating that it did not comply with the min- and Bob Trainor as new members of the company’s execu- imum $50 million market value of listed securities require- ment for continued listing. Additionally, the company does Vasogen Inc., of Toronto, appointed Terrance Gregg not comply with the requirement that total assets and total revenue of $50 million each for the most recently com- VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Monmouth pleted fiscal year or two of the last three most recently Junction, N.J., named Johnson Lau to its board.
completed fiscal years. Separately, SIGA Technologies Vivus Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., appointed Wesley Inc., of New York, entered a securities purchase agreement, Day vice president of clinical development.
dated Nov. 2, with four investors for the issuance and sale Xanthus Life Sciences Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., of 2 million shares of SIGA’s common stock at $1 per share appointed Kris Piper vice president of regulatory affairs for aggregate consideration of $2 million and certain war- Millennium
cade traction before recommending the name.” Analysts at Atlanta-based Suntrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Millennium from “buy” to “neutral” iate of Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland. Dunsire in December. Last fall, Lehman Brothers in New York worked for Novartis for almost 20 years. (See BioWorld upgraded the firm from “underweight” to “equal weight.” Reddoch said Velcade is “showing a plateau,” but Dun- Reddoch, who maintains an “underperform” rating, characterized Millennium as a “slowing-growth company “Growth in 2005 vs. 2004 was very strong,” she said.
with a high valuation and an early stage pipeline.” Along with the Rituxan combo trial, the company will sub- Analyst Phil Nadeau at SG Cowen in New York remained mit in the second half of this year a supplemental BLA filing “neutral” on Millennium’s shares, citing in a research report to explore Velcade against mantle cell lymphoma. But even “many pipeline milestones in 2006, although none seem without the new indications, “a number of myeloma sufficient to spark investor interest.” patients out there in the relapsed settings are getting some Christopher Raymond, with Robert Baird & Co. in old therapies, and there’s room for Velcade to penetrate Chicago, also stayed “neutral,” and said in a research note further. We have a really good base for a company that’s that his firm “continue[s] to await signs of increased Vel- To subscribe, please call BIOWORLD® Customer Service at (800) 688-2421; outside the U.S. and Canada, call (404) 262-5476.
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