Apr 11, 2016

Posted by in Biotech Stocks | 0 Comments

Stocks to Track: Halozyme Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HALO), ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP), Oncothyreon Inc (NASDAQ:ONTY)

Stocks to Track: Halozyme Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HALO), ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP), Oncothyreon Inc (NASDAQ:ONTY)

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HALO) remained among day losers during the previous trading session, opened at the price of $11.30, whereas its previous closing price was recorded at $11.00. Total volume of the stock was 1.73 million shares during last trade, while its average volume is 2.19 million shares. It declined -0.27% and traded within the range of $10.74 – $11.39 for the day. The 52 week range of the stock remained in between $6.96 – $25.25. The company’s total market capitalization stands at $1.42 billion, along with 129.09 million outstanding shares.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HALO) on March 16, 2016 announced the first patient has been dosed in its Halo-301 | Pancreatic study, a Phase 3 clinical trial in previously untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer patients.

The global, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial will study Halozyme’s investigational drug, PEGPH20, in combination with ABRAXANE® (nab-paclitaxel) and gemcitabine in patients identified to have tumors that accumulate high levels of hyaluronan (HA). HA is a glycosaminoglycan, or chain of natural sugars that may impede access of drugs targeting the tumor. Halozyme’s PEGPH20 temporarily degrades HA and has been shown in animal models to increase the concentration of co-administered therapies in the targeted tumor.

Halozyme also announced that the investigational device exemption (IDE) submitted to the FDA last month by Halozyme’s partner Ventana Medical Systems has been approved. This IDE allows Halozyme to use the Ventana HA CDx Assay as the companion diagnostic in Halo-301 to prospectively identify HA-High patients for inclusion in the study.

Halo-301 has an enrollment target of 420 HA-high patients and seeks to improve progression-free survival and overall survival in the patients receiving PEGPH20 plus ABRAXANE and gemcitabine compared to those receiving placebo plus ABRAXANE and gemcitabine.

The FDA granted orphan drug designation to PEGPH20 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and fast track designation for PEGPH20 in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Additionally, the European Commission, acting on the recommendation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency, designated investigational drug PEGPH20 as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) reported a surge during previous trade, ended its day with the gain of +1.32% and closed at the price of $8.43, after opening at $8.36. Stock exchanged hands during its last trading session with the total volume of 1.58 million shares, as compared to its average volume of 2.81 million shares. During the previous session, the company’s minimum price was $8.28, while it touched its highest price for the day at $8.59.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) on March 9, 2016 announced the publication of an article describing the use of Sleeping Beauty non-viral gene transfer technology to modify T cells for the targeting of neoantigens present within solid tumors. This approach unlocks the potential for rapid and inexpensive personalized T-cell receptor (TCR) gene therapy aimed at the unique mutations within a patient’s cancer cells. The article, titled “Stable, non-viral expression of mutated tumor neoantigen-specific T-cell receptors using the Sleeping Beauty transposon/transposase system,” was published in the journal Molecular Therapy (5 March 2016, doi:10.1038/mt.2016.51), and is available online.

Neoantigens unique to each patient’s tumor can be recognized by autologous T cells through their T-cell receptors, but the low frequency and/or terminal differentiation of mutation-specific T cells may limit their utility as adoptive T-cell therapies. The publication describes how the Sleeping Beauty platform can be used to transfer and stably express TCR genes into T cells while retaining their proliferative potential. Indeed, the Sleeping Beauty gene transfer occurs without the need for cell division thus facilitating the genetic modification of minimally-differentiated T cells. The authors note that the Sleeping Beauty platform “can facilitate the use of personalized T cell therapy targeting unique neoantigens.”

Oncothyreon Inc (NASDAQ:ONTY) was showing an upward trend during the previous trading session, reported the increase of +0.83%, to close at $1.21, with the overall traded volume of 1.59 million shares. During last trade, the company’s minimum price was $1.12, while it touched its highest price of $1.23. The company has the total of 94.96 million outstanding shares. Its market capitalization was $115.86 million.

Oncothyreon Inc (NASDAQ:ONTY) on March 29, 2016 announced the appointment of Scott D. Myers as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors.

Myers, 49, brings more than 20 years of industry expertise, including significant management, commercialization and business development experience in multinational pharmaceutical companies. Myers most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and President for Aerocrine AB, a life sciences company based in Stockholm, Sweden and Morrisville, NC. Aerocrine was acquired by Circassia Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based immunotherapy company, in July of 2015.  Myers also served as an independent Director for Orexo, AB, a pharmaceutical company and is currently an industry advisor to EQT, a large Scandinavian investment fund.

Prior to joining Aerocrine in 2011, Myers served as Vice President, Head of European Mid-Markets for UCB, a Belgian-based, global biopharmaceutical company. In this role, Myers oversaw commercial operations and medical affairs for 32 countries in the EU.  Prior to UCB, Myers served in senior roles responsible for business development, strategic marketing and pharmaceutical portfolio management at several leading companies including Johnson & Johnson.  Myers received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Biology from Northwestern University.


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