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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Verastem Gets New CFO, Mesoblast Earnings, Vertex's Precision Medicine Collaboration

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Verastem Gets New CFO, Mesoblast Earnings, Vertex's Precision Medicine Collaboration

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling the Peaks

(Stocks hitting 52-week highs on Aug. 29)

  • Acceleron Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: XLRN)
  • Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)
  • Affimed NV (NASDAQ: AFMD)
  • Becton Dickinson and Co (NYSE: BDX)
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.(NYSE: BIO)
  • CareDx Inc (NASDAQ: CDNA)
  • Cytosorbents Corp (NASDAQ: CTSO)
  • Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS)
  • Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE: HAE)
  • Inogen Inc (NASDAQ: INGN)
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG)
  • Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT)
  • Novocure Ltd (NASDAQ: NVCR)
  • ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD)
    Replimune Group Inc (NASDAQ: REPL)
    Uniqure NV (NASDAQ: QURE)
  • Repligen Corporation

Down In The Dumps

(Stocks hitting 52-week lows on Aug. 29)

  • Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PTX)

Stocks In Focus

Merck, Eisai Gets Approval For Marketing Liver Cancer Drug In South Korea

Japanese pharma giant Eisai announced its South Korean subsidiary received approval for the kinase inhibitor LENVIMA as a single agent for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

"LENVIMA is the first new treatment option approved in ten years as a first-line systemic treatment for HCC in South Korea," Eisai said.

Eisai and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) had entered into a strategic collaboration for the worldwide development and co-commercialization of LENVIMA. Marketing of the product is expected to commence in South Korea by the end of 2018.

Verastem Appoints Former Hardvar Bioscience Executive as CFO

Verastem Inc (NASDAQ: VSTM) announced the appointment of former Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBIO) executive Robert Gagnon as chief financial officer, effective August 28.

The stock gained 2.02 percent to $9.85 in after-hours trading.

See Also: The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates And Clinical Trial Results

Vertex Strikes Partnership With Genomics to Develop Precision Medicines

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) announced a three-year collaboration agreement with Genomics to use human genetics and machine learning to improve discovery of targets for precision medicines.

"The goal of the collaboration is to further advance Vertex's efforts to develop transformative precision medicines for people with serious diseases," Vertex said.

Vertex will fund the resources committed by Genomics to the collaboration, while also making milestone and royalty payments for novel targets resulting from the tie-up.

Vertex also said it has made a 10.5-million pound equity investment in Genomics as part of the latter's 25-million pound Series B financing.


Mesoblast limited (ADR) (NASDAQ: MESO) reported fiscal-year fourth-quarter revenues that doubled to $1.7 million. The loss per share narrowed from the year-ago period.

The stock rallied 12.21 percent to $6.71 in after-hours trading.

Allakos Inc (NASDAQ: ALLK), which saw its shares list on the Nasdaq on July 19, reported Q2 results showing a narrower loss of $4.17 per share compared to a loss of $3.18 per share last year. The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, not including the IPO net proceeds, of $64.1 million.

Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND) said its second-quarter net loss narrowed from 0.94 euros per share in Q217 to 0.55 euros per share in Q218. As of June 30, the company had cash and cash equivalents of 352.6 million euros.

On The Radar


  • Edap Tms SA (ADR) (NASDAQ: EDAP) Q2 EPS $(0.03) Misses $(0.01) Estimate, Sales $10.14M Miss $10.84M Estimate
  • MEI Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: MEIP) (after the market close)

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