What is the oldest trick in the book when you need a share price up after it challenges 52-week lows? Float a a takeover rumor… Allos Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTH) is up big on more than triple-normal the trading volume. A fresh article from FORBES got the rumor going that Allos could be a takeover stock based upon a screen from biotechnology analyst Geoffrey Porges of Sanford C. Bernstein. The claim is that 10,000 companies were screened to find a list of 25 that look like possible takeout candidates, and then Porges picked 4 of those which he thinks could get scooped up.
On Allos, Porges noted that it sells the cancer drug Folotyn. While the stock has not performed well ( big understatement), the ultra-orphan cancer niche would give a new team something that would appeal to buyers. Frankly, there was very little meat to the argument.
Three other names floated out there were ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ: VPHM), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), and Pharmacyclics Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC).
Allos was the stock that investors took most to heart in a very short description article today. With about 90 minutes to the market close, shares are trading up 8.3% at $4.31 on more than 3.85 million shares. The 52-week trading range is $3.58 to $8.79 and average volume in the last 90 days has been roughly 1.1 million shares. That $3.58 low in Allos was just seen as recently as August 31.
Unfortunately, Geron is now too embattled in this ban on embryonic stem cells that is not yet resolved; Geron was down 2.3% at $5.15.
ViroPharma was up less than 1% at $13.19 and Pharmacyclics was up 4% at $7.73 on the notation that a buyout could come their way too.
JON C. OGG
Pharmacyclics (PCYC) share are up 10% to $1.49 on news that its right offering is oversubscribed.
PCYC said the preliminary results of its rights offering to purchase up to 22,500,000 shares of the Company’s common stock at a subscription price of $1.28 per share, which expired as of 5:00 p.m., EDT, on July 31, 2009. The Company increased the offering size on July 29, 2009 by 3,750,000 shares, from up to 18,750,000 shares to up to 22,500,000 shares.
The subscription agent has informed the Company that based on a preliminary tabulation, as of the close of the offering the Company had received valid subscriptions from approximately 375 participants for the purchase of in excess of the 22,500,000 shares offered. The total gross proceeds anticipated to be received is $28,800,000.
The firm is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative small-molecule drugs for the treatment of immune mediated disease and cancer.
Douglas A. McIntyre
Weekend of Cancer and Ocology Data at AACR; semi-preview for ASCO (ALTH, AMGN, ARIA, ARRY, AZN, BIIB, CELG, CRIS, IMMU, IMGN, INFI, MEDX, MNTA, ONCY, PFE, PCYC, SUPG, TELK, THLD)
This weekend will kick off a rather important oncology meeting, and it has a chance of setting the expectations for the highly anticipated ACSO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) annual meeting next month. The American Association for Cancer Research Meeting will take place in Denver, CO. and many of the smaller and larger cancer and disease biotech and drug companies will be presenting data. Amazingly enough, this will be the 100th annual meeting.
Allos Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTH) will present data from an in vitro study examining the potency of pralatrexate in colon, breast, ovarian, lung, prostate, and head and neck cancer cell lines.
Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) had industry news earlier this week about its experimental drug called AMG 479 shows promise against pancreatic cancer. Amgen will also be presenting lung cancer data.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) will offer new preclinical data on deforolimus, its investigational mTOR inhibitor, AP24534, its investigational multi-targeted kinase inhibitor, and its investigational anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor.
Array BioPharma, Inc. (ARRY) has eighteen abstracts being presented at the meeting and will disclose findings in 7 new anti-cancer programs. Lung and colon cancer data are in these presentations.
Pharmacyclics Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) is seeing shares surge today after it said that its Phase 1/2 trial of motexafin gadolinium plus antibody targeted radiation therapy demonstrated a high complete response rate in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The results of the study showed a 46% complete response rate in patients with multiply recurrent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who were treated with motexafin gadolinium in combination with Yttrium-90 Ibritumomab Tiuxetan, an approved antibody-targeted radiation therapy.
Patients were treated with a standard dose of Zevalin administered with 2.5 to 5.0 mg/kg of MGd given for six days. Of the 28 evaluable patients in the study, 46% showed a complete response and 11% more showed a partial response. Rituximab refractory patients showed an overall response rate of 86%, with a 64% complete response rate and a median time to progression of 14 months.
Adverse events seen were related to bone marrow suppression, an expected side effect of treatment with Zevalin.
This data was part of a presentation at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma. Shares are up some 19% at $1.25 today on more than 5-times volume. Its 520week trading range is $0.55 to $3.28 and its market cap is a mere $32.5 million even after the run. As of last quarter, it had roughly $21 million in liquidity from cash and equivalents.
June 5, 2008