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The Daily Biotech Pulse: FDA Nod For Novocure, Dynavax Restructures, Therapix Receives Nasdaq Notice

The Daily Biotech Pulse: FDA Nod For Novocure, Dynavax Restructures, Therapix Receives Nasdaq Notice

The following is a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours:

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks that hit 52-week highs May 23.)

  • ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL)
  • Turning Point Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TPTX) (went public April 17)

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech stocks that hit 52-week lows May 23.)

  • Abeona Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ABEO)
  • Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ: ADMP)
  • Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEMD)
  • Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ: ALKS)
  • Allena Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ALNA)
  • Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS)
  • Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: BLCM)
  • Biopharmx Corp (NYSE: BPMX)
  • Capricor Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CAPR)
  • Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ: HTBX)
  • Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ: NERV)
  • Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN)
  • OncoSec Medical Inc (NASDAQ: ONCS)
  • Organovo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: ONVO) (reacted to fourth-quarter results and an extended timeline for its liver tissue patch)
  • Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: OSMT)
  • T2 Biosystems Inc (NASDAQ: TTOO)
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE: TEVA)
  • Teligent Inc (NASDAQ: TLGT)
  • TherapeuticsMD Inc (NASDAQ: TXMD)
  • Theravance Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ: TBPH)
  • Tocagen Inc (NASDAQ: TOCA)
  • Xenetic Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: XBIO)

Stock In Focus

Novocure's Cancer Treatment System For Pleural Mesothelioma Passes FDA Muster

Novocure Ltd (NASDAQ: NVCR) said the FDA has approved the NovoTTF-100L System in combination with pemetrexed plus platinum-based chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic pleural mesothelioma, or MPM — a cancer of the pleura, the protective lining of the lung.

NovoTTF-100L is a non-invasive, antimitotic cancer treatment that delivers tumor treating fields to the region of the tumor. It uses electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt solid tumor cancer cell division.

"NovoTTF-100L is the first treatment for MPM approved by the FDA in more than 15 years," Novocure said.

The stock rallied 5.46 percent to $51.99 in after-hours trading.

Dynavax To Restructure Operations To Focus On Vaccine Business, Trim 82 Jobs

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) announced a strategic restructuring to prioritize its vaccine business, with a focus on its first commercial product: Heplisav, a hepatitis B vaccine.

As part of the restructuring action, the company said it will explore strategic options for its immuno-oncology portfolio and  eliminate 82 jobs, or 37 percent of its U.S. workforce.

CEO Eddie Gray also announced his plan to retire as CEO and a director of the board effective Aug. 1.

Dynavax's board created an interim office of president and appointed David Novack, a senior vice president of operations and Ryan Spencer, a senior vice president for commercial, as co-presidents effective immediately. The company is initiating a search for a new CEO.

The stock fell 8.66 percent to $5.80 in after-hours trading.

Therapix Receives Nasdaq Notification For Flouting Continued Listing Standards Rule

THERAPIX BIOSCI/S ADR (NASDAQ: TRPX), a specialty pharma company focused on cannabinoid-based treatment, said it has received a written notification from the Nasdaq informing the company that the stockholders' equity does not comply with the minimum $2.5-million stockholders' equity requirement for continued listing.

The company said it has until July 5 to resolve the issue. The company is eligible for a 180-day period extension from the date of notification for providing evidence of compliance.

The stock slipped 9.09 percent to $3 in after-hours trading.

MiMedx Says Independent Audit Committee Confirms Malpractice

Following the conclusion of a 15-month investigation by an independent audit committee on certain sales and distribution practices, MiMedx Group Inc (OTC: MDXG) said it concluded that, as previously announced, the financial statements for fiscal years 2012-2016 and three quarters of 2017 will need to be restated.

The former executive team — including former COO Parker Petit, former CFO Michael Senken and former Controller John Cranston — were in the know of improprieties in the company's dealings with its largest distributor made material restatements and omissions to key stakeholders, according to MiMedx. 

Petit was also found to order the recording of interviews and employee discussions without their consent to penalize potential whistleblowers, the company said. 

The stock rose 0.88 percent to $2.30 in after-hours trading.

On The Radar


The FDA is set to rule on Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) and Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS)'s sNDA for Jakafi for the expanded indication of treating patients with acute graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, who have had an inadequate response to corticosteroids.

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