Innovative Biotech Companies Pushing the Envelope

LAS VEGAS, June 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

FN Media Group Presents News Commentary  

Innovation has always been the name of the game when it comes to biotechnology.  It seems with each passing year that more and more new innovative treatments are being considered by the large biotechnology firms, all because some small company decided to push the envelope.

2018 has been a year where we have seen many major mergers including Sanofi and Celgene paying over several billion for a competitor.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of year turns out on the M&A side for biotech.  

Some biotechnology companies that are pushing the envelope on innovation include: Propanc Biopharma, Inc. (OTC: PPCB), Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB), Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHX), VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS)

Propanc BioPharma, Inc. (OTCQB: PPCB)

Market Cap: 2.24M, current share price: $0.05 

Propanc BioPharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on development of new and proprietary treatments for cancer patients suffering from solid tumors such as pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers, recently announced it had completed a scientific advice meeting with the MHRA in reference to the company's lead product PRP which has been designated as a Orphan Drug by the FDA for Pancreatic Cancer.  Additionally the company went through a number of topics regarding the Clinical Trial Application for PRP, and the first in human studies that the company plans to conduct in the UK for its lead product PRP.  

PRP is a long-term therapy based on a pancreatic proenzyme formulation to prevent tumor recurrence and metastasis, the main cause of patient death from cancer. PRP, is a novel, patented, formulation consisting of two proenzymes mixed in a synergetic ratio that targets solid tumors.

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB)

Market Cap: $392.99M, current share price: $2.99 

Pacific Biosciences of California Inc., announced this week that obtaining microbial genomes with high accuracy and contiguity has become faster and more affordable thanks to new multiplexing tools that they will showcase at the upcoming American Society for Microbiology (ASM) annual meeting in Atlanta.  

The increased throughput of the PacBio® Sequel® System enables multiple microbes to be sequenced on a single SMRT® Cell in a single day, greatly increasing throughput and reducing costs per genome assembly. This multiplexing can be readily achieved by incorporating a unique barcode for each microbe into the SMRTbell® adapters after shearing genomic DNA using a streamlined library construction process. Incorporating a barcode without the requirement for PCR amplification preserves important epigenetic information.

Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO)

Market Cap: $157.22M, current share price: $3.29 

Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc. shares closed up a little over 24% Friday. The late-stage clinical company developing next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapies for the treatment of cancer, reported a net loss of $0.11 a share for the first quarter compared to a net loss of $0.25 a share in the year ago quarter. CEO Stephen Hurly stated, "2018 is set to be a transformational year for the company and, already in the first quarter, we have made important progress in advancing our lead program, Vicinium™, for high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, or NMIBC. Our Phase 3 registration trial, the VISTA Trial, investigating Vicinium for patients with high-grade NMIBC, is progressing well and recently completed enrollment. We look forward to presenting three-month data from the trial in an oral presentation at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting on May 21st, a significant catalyst for the company and our Vicinium program. High-grade NMIBC is a disease for which there is a desperate need for new treatment options, and we look forward to further exploring Vicinium as a potential treatment for these patients." The company has changed its name to Sesen Bio, Inc. and will trade under the new Nasdaq ticker symbol "SESN."

Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHX)

Market Cap: $378M, current share price: $2.74 

Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) just entered into an agreement with HEALIOS K.K. to expand their collaboration into additional therapeutic areas. Under the terms of the agreements, Healios obtained exclusive licenses for the development and commercialization in Japan of MultiStem® therapy for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome and of MultiStem cells used in combination with iPSC-derived cells for the treatment of certain organs. Healios also received an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize MultiStem cells, either as a standalone therapy or in combination with retinal pigmented epithelial ("RPE") cells for certain ophthalmological indications, and an expansion of its license to use Athersys technology to support its organ bud programs to include other transplantation areas. In exchange, Athersys receives $20 million in license fees, comprising $10 million paid from an escrow account established with the letter of intent signed in March 2018 and four installments of $2.5 million each to be paid in this and the next three quarters.


Market Cap: $90.34M, current share price: $0.8519 

VIVUS closed up nearly 20% Friday.  In May 2018, VIVUS entered into an agreement with Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson JNJ, to acquire all rights to the latter's exocrine pancreatic insufficiency ("EPI") drug, Pancreaze, in the United States and Canada. This is the first of what the company expects to be a series of product acquisitions designed to generate revenues and strengthen its financial position. Pancreaze has a positive cash flow, which is expected to boost VIVUS' revenues.

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