Biotech Movers: Optimer Rockets, Ziopharm in Free Fall

by Adam Benjamin | April 8, 2013 8:25 am

BiotechRecap185[1]Here’s a look at recent major developments and share moves[2] in biotech stocks:

Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP[3]): Following a late-March announcement that Phase-III drug Palifosfamide has reached a dead-end, Ziopharm completed a work force reduction[4] of 65 employees on Wednesday. The company’s stock — which had already jumped off a cliff — continued to dig deeper last week, losing an additional 17%.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:OPTR[5]): Shares of Optimer skyrocketed Tuesday on speculation that the company could be acquired[6]. Optimer, the maker of intestinal infection treatment Dificid, is hoping for a $1 billion offer from AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN[7]), among other candidates. Shares jumped 22% on the week.

Opexa Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OPXA[8]): Opexa slid steadily downward last week after reporting that it closed out 2012 with a loss of $8.9 million, 50% worse than its year-ago loss. OPXA also announced new hires for its chief financial officer, VP of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Development Manager posts. The company’s multiple sclerosis treatment, Tcelna, is still in Phase-II trials, but the company claims enough cash equivalents to fund trials through Q4 2013. OPXA finished down 18% on the week.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENTA[9]): Enanta, which went public last week[10], gained 45% last week after its Monday offering. The company is developing inhibitors for the treatment of hepatitis C — such as Protease, developed in partnership with AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV[11]). Shares were issued at $14 and finished the week at $20.34.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:INO[12]): Shares of Inovio took a dive Tuesday, after reported results[13] for a Phase II clinical trial. ChronTech AS, Inovio’s collaborator on hepatitis C vaccine ChronVac-C, reported no statistically significant results from the treatment. The stock dropped 13% on the week.

Adam Benjamin is Assistant Editor of[14]. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

  1. [Image]:
  2. recent major developments and share moves:
  3. ZIOP:
  4. work force reduction:,+to+Take+Charge/8235345.html
  5. OPTR:
  6. could be acquired:
  7. AZN:
  8. OPXA:
  9. ENTA:
  10. which went public last week:
  11. ABBV:
  12. INO:
  13. results:

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