Here’s a look at recent major developments and share moves in biotech stocks:
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX): Keryx Biopharmaceuticals shares more than doubled last week after Zerenex — a kidney disease drug that treats elevated serum phosphorous levels — outperformed a placebo in a Phase III trial. The company also announced a secondary offering of 8.2 million shares at $8.49 per share to help “fund pre-launch/launch inventory build-up and pre-commercial/commercial activities related to Zerenex.” KERX shares moved up nearly 20% the previous week on anticipation of the trial results; all in all, they have improved 150% since Jan. 18.
Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT): Sarepta was caught up in a bizarre week that saw it and another company — voice technology firm Audience (NASDAQ:ADNC) — hammered thanks to fraudulent messages on Twitter. SRPT fell 10% almost immediately last Wednesday after the user @citreonresearc — a name made similar to short-selling specialist Citron Research — tweeted that trial results for Sarepta’s Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment eteplirsen had been falsified. SRPT shares did recover most of those losses, shedding just 1% for the full week.
Alimera Sciences (NASDAQ:ALIM): Alimera shot up almost 20% Friday after the efficacy of a competitor’s treatment for diabetic macular edema was questioned in a medical journal. An article in JAMA Ophthalmology says Roche’s (PINK:RHHBY) Lucentis did not benefit patients with vitreous hemorrhage from diabetic retinopathy after 16 weeks. Alimera — along with pSivida (NASDAQ:PSDV) — are expected to resubmit an application to the FDA for approval of their drug, Iluvien, early this year. PSDV also gained 17% on the news.
Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HALO): Halozyme stock was battered last week after negative comments from Roche led to some analyst downgrades. Halozyme is working with Roche on an injectable version of Herceptin, which treats breast and gastric cancers, but Roche indicated that European approval could be delayed. Wedbush analyst Gregory Wade downgraded HALO from “neutral” to “outperform.” HALO shares finished the week down 21%.
Oncolytics Biotech (NASDAQ:ONCY): Oncolytics Biotech finished last week up 14% after reporting results from a Phase I study of its colorectal cancer treatment, Reolysin. Reolysin was used in combination with a chemotherapy regimen called Folfori, and the treatment was “found to be safe, well-tolerated and resulted in disease control in the majority of the (18 patients in the study).”