Friday, January 05, 2007

Quick hits

ImClone starts P1 trials of an a-PDGFR alpha mAb. (IMC-3G3 for solid tumors.) This may be the first mono-target PDGFR therapeutic. Curious to know how long this program has been in development - will check old IMCL annual reports.

Congrats to Pharmacopeia on their JAK3 deal with Wyeth. $5M upfront, $9M in research funding (3yrs), $175M in potential milestones, plus double digit royalties. JAK3 program sounds preclinical, though I think it's been active at PCOP for a while. Looks like a low-risk deal from WYE's p.o.v. Interestingly, PCOP's valuation increased less than $3M today on the news ($2M less than the upfront), to $95M (with about $30M of that in cash). PCOP, with a partnered p38 and now JAK3 program might be a good stock to watch, if you believe that a single IND program is worth $100M. The negative case is that PCOP appears to have less than two years of cash on hand, before accounting for clinical trials expenses. Still, any clinical success here by PCOP (or partners) should send this stock flying.

Genentech announces successful results from a P2 combining chemotherapy & Omnitarg err..... Pertuzumab, an HDI or HER dimerization inhibitor. Good news in the fight against ovarian cancer.

Aveo licenses a clinical VEGF program from Kirin Brewery? KRN951 for RCC is targeted to enter P2 this summer.

(Incidentally, here's a picture of the headquarters of the Asahi Brewery that I saw in Tokyo last summer while cruising the Sumida River. The taller building is meant to resemble a glass of beer. The shorter building also represents something beer-related that I can't recall.)

Forbes expects change in the pharma industry in '07. Not that the pharma industry was uncompetitive prior to now, but, the article points out that competition, Congress, and internal shake-ups will jolt pharma.

MD Anderson (MDACC) has been productive recently, reporting good results from a P1/2 trial of the Merck/Vertex aurora inhibitor (MK-0457 / VX-680) in CML, ALL, and MPD. How much of this is due to VX-680's FLT3 inhibition?

Separately, MDACC's ABT-737 - a Bcl-2 inhib - works well in AML, even killing AML stem cells.

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