Here’s a look at recent major developments and share moves in biotech stocks:
Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OSIR): Stem cell company Osiris shot up 35% last week after reporting a smaller-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter. The company fell to a loss of $2.6 million (8 cents per share) after recording a $5.05 million (15-cent) profit in the year-ago period, but that beat analyst expectations of a $5 million loss. The company’s $3.1 million in revenues also beat analyst expectations for $2.9 million. Osiris currently has a Phase 3 product, Prochymal, that is being tested for several uses, including as a treatment for Crohn’s disease and heart tissue repair.
Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM): SQNM shares dropped by more than 10% Friday morning before clawing back to a 4% loss following disappointing fourth-quarter earnings. While revenues more than doubled to $33.7 million, the company slumped on the earnings side, losing 29 cents — 7 cents worse than the year-ago period’s loss and a nickel short of analyst expectations. The company’s MaterniT21 PLUS prenatal test for Down syndrome helped the revenue performance, but operating expenses grew by more than 50% in the quarter.
Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PGNX): Progenics climbed 34% last week after reporting positive clinical data from a study of two radiolabeled small molecules targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen. The company said “I-MIP-1072 and I-MIP-1095 had a high sensitivity of lesion detection in bone, tissue and the prostate gland with minimal retention in non-target tissue.” PGNX will use the data to conduct a phase 2 trial for a next-gen prostate cancer diagnostic molecule, MIP-1404.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM): Peregrine gained 23% last week after a Piper Jaffray analyst initiated coverage on PPHM, giving it an “overweight” rating and setting a $2.50 price target — more than 90% higher than the previous day’s closing price. The analyst cited optimism about two cancer drug candidates: bavituximab, which is being tested as a treatment for both non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer; and Cotara, which targets brain cancer.
PharmAthene (AMEX:PIP): PharmAthene shares ran up 27% last week following a bullish analyst report released Wednesday. Aegis initiated coverage on PIP with a “buy” rating, setting a $6 price target, or triple its Tuesday closing price. PharmAthene is a biodefense company that produces products to counter biological and chemical weapons, including an anthrax vaccine (SparVax) and treatment (Valortim).