Analysts Predict Big Year in Biotech M&A

Friday, June 8, 2018 General News
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LAS VEGAS, June 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

FN Media Group Presents Microcapspeculators.com News Commentary 

An

$11-billion burst of biotechnology bids in just four days in January fueled expectations of a 2018 surge in life science deals as large drugmakers shop for promising assets from smaller, undervalued rivals.  In a Reuters
report by consultancy EY and law firm Baker McKenzie both predicted a significant rise in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) this year, helped by U.S. tax changes that may lift big companies' appetite for deals.

The mega-deal fireworks show earlier this year included Celgene's $7-billion agreed takeover of Impact Biomedicines; Novo Nordisk's $3.1-billion offer for Ablynx; and Takeda Pharmaceutical's plan to buy TiGenix for $630 million. This follows a relatively subdued 2017, when life sciences M&A totaled around $200 billion, dominated by Johnson & Johnson's $30-billion purchase of Actelion and Gilead's $12-billion acquisition of Kite.

Some biotechnology stocks to keep on your radar include: Propanc Biopharma Inc. (OTC: PPCB), Immunomedics, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU), Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: AVXL), Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTI), and OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK).

Propanc Biopharma Inc. (OTCQB: PPCB)

Market Cap: $2.51M, current share price: $.062 

Propanc Biopharma Inc. (PPCB), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with awarded FDA ODD (Orphan Drug Designation) for its lead product PRP, and focused on the development of new and proprietary treatments for cancer patients suffering from solid tumors such as pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers.  The company's most recent 10Q filing shows the company signed an agreement with investment bank to be their placement agent for an upcoming capital raise.  PPCB also had recent news of a scientific advice meeting with the MHRA, which is the regulatory body similar to the FDA in the United Kingdom.   Immunomedics, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU)

Market Cap: $4.21B, current share price: $22.71 

Immunomedics, Inc., (IMMU) ("Immunomedics" or the "Company"), a leading biopharmaceutical company in the area of antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), announced a comprehensive overview of its clinical development plan for sacituzumab govitecan, Immunomedics' lead ADC, at the Company's Investor Event during the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. The plan focuses on three cancer indications with significant unmet need: metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC), metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) and estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer (ER+ mBC). Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: AVXL)

Market Cap: $162.16M, current share price: $3.66 

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, recently reported financial results for the second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2018.

Clinical Update:

  • The Phase 2a Alzheimer's extension study ANAVEX®2-73-003 has been approved by the Ethics Committee in Australia to continue for a further 104 weeks, i.e. additional two (2) years per request by patients, their caregivers and physicians. The ANAVEX®2-73-003 extension study was the continuation of the 57-week ANAVEX®2-73-002 study and is designed to allow participants who complete the first 104 week extension to continue taking ANAVEX®2-73 for an additional 104 weeks, providing an opportunity to gather extended five (5) years of cumulative safety and tolerability data for orally daily dosed ANAVEX®2-73. The further extension is in addition and independent of the Company's planned larger Phase 2/3 double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of ANAVEX®2-73 in Alzheimer's disease.

Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTI)

Market Cap: $159.09M, current share price: $1.43 

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI), a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapy products, announced that the top-line results of the company's multinational Phase II clinical trial of PLX-PAD cells in the treatment of Intermittent Claudication (IC) will be released on June 12, 2018.

Pluristem's Phase II IC trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of PLX-PAD cells as compared to placebo in 172 patients with IC, Rutherford category 2-3. Enrollment took place at 30 clinical sites in the U.S., Germany, South Korea and Israel. Patients received either two courses of 150 ×106 PLX-PAD cells, two courses of 300 ×106 cells, two courses of placebo, or one course of 300 ×106 cells followed by placebo. In each of these study arms, the two courses were given intramuscularly, 3 months apart. The primary efficacy endpoint is the change in maximal walking distance one year after the first administration. Other endpoints include rate of revascularization and other hemodynamic and clinical parameters.

OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK)

Market Cap: $2.29B, current share price: $4.11 

OPKO Health, Inc. (OPK) today announced that Novitas Solutions, Inc. issued a draft local coverage determination (LCD) for the 4Kscore test®. The draft LCD is a proposed non-coverage policy for the 4Kscore test for Medicare and, prior to its effectiveness, is subject to a public comment period ending July 5, 2018.  OPKO plans to submit comments during this time period.

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