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BioTech Navigator Investment Newsletter - News 8 97 (Page 12)

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BioTech Navigator Investment Newsletter - News 8 97
BioTech Navigator, August 1997
This section is to update and inform the happenings of those stocks that were discuss previously discussed in past issues.
BioTech Stock Updates
Agouron (Issue #1-AIDS)
and Japan Tobacco Inc. granted F.
Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. exclusive
marketing rights for the anti-HIV
drug Viracept in several Asian territo-
ries. For these marketing rights,
Roche will pay to Japan Tobacco and
Agouron $6 million plus royalties on
Roche's sales of Viracept.
Under the licensing agree-
ment, Roche will seek approval for
Viracept in several Asian countries.
Roche will immediately pay $4 mil-
lion to be shared equally by Japan To-
bacco and Agouron and Roche will
pay an additional $2 million to the
two companies when Viracept is first
approved in one of the Asian territo-
Late July,
Calypte (Issue #1-
AIDS) announced their second quar-
ter earnings to be a loss of 21 cents
per share compared to a loss of 35
cents per share for the same period in
Early in July,
Cell Genesys'
(Issue #1-AIDS) Abgenix Inc. unit
named Kurt Leutzinger, VP Finance
and CFO.
In late July, Cell Genesys
reported 2
quarter earnings to be a
loss of $4.20 per share versus a loss
of 6 cents per share for the same pe-
riod a year earlier. Second quarter
earnings includes a $15 million
charge for a cross license and settle-
ment agreement with GenPharm Inc.,
a charge of $78,846,000, or $3.87 a
share, related to the acquisition of So-
matix. Cell Genesys also issued 11.1
million common shares relating to the
acquisition of Somatix.
Second quarter revenues
were lower due to a one time $2 mil-
lion milestone payment received in
the second quarter of 1996 from
Hoechst Marion Roussel for Cell
enesys' AIDS gene therapy program.
Research and development expenses
were $8 million for the second quar-
ter, up from $6.3 million a year ear-
lier, mostly due to expanded preclini-
cal and clinical development activi-
ties, and also expenses related to So-
matix's operations in June.
Trinity Biotech PLC
(TRIBY) completed its acquisition of
Centocor's (Issue #4-Breast Cancer)
infectious disease business in the U.K.
and obtained rights to develop, manu-
facture, market and distribute enzyme
immunoassay and rapid tests based on
Centocor's serum tumor markers for
$5.5 million in cash and loan notes.
Terms of the diagnostics
agreement weren't disclosed, Trinity
said under the agreement, it will de-
velop both rapid and laboratory en-
zyme immunoassay tests for breast,
ovarian, pancreatic, gastrointestinal
cancer and free and total prostrate
specific antigen. Trinity expects to
develop these products over the next
18 months.
Centocor attributed growth
in operating earnings to strong Reo-
Pro sales (a drug for coronary inter-
ventions), which increased to $40.6
million in the 1997 second quarter
from $18.5 million in the second
quarter of 1996. Second quarter earn-
ings were 1 cent a share compared to
6 cents loss from the same period of
last year.
In early July,
Chiron's (Issue
#1-AIDS) Chiron Technologies unit
will receive an exclusive license for a
drug delivery device in exchange for a
potential $3 million investment in
Comedicus Inc., a maker of drug de-
livery products to treat heart disease.
Chiron said it will loan the company
funds for further development, testing
and commercialization of its Per-
Ducer pericardial access device,
which delivers therapeutic drugs to
the protective sac surrounding the
heart. If Comedicus achieves certain
regulatory and clinical milestones, the
loans will convert to equity and Chi-
ron will buy an additional stake in
Comedicus to reach a total investment
of $3 million. Chiron said it will also
receive a warrant to purchase addi-
tional equity in Comedicus, which
may be exercised only if Chiron com-
pletes the $3 million stock purchase
by a specific deadline.
On July 15
, Novartis AG
(NVTSY) and Chiron applied for
Federal Trade Commission approval
to license certain gene therapy tech-
nology and patent rights to Rhone-
Poulenc Rorer Inc. (RPR). Chiron,
which is 46.5%-owned by Novartis,
plans to license HSV-tk gene therapy
products to Rhone-Poulenc.
The licensing of the technol-
ogy is required under a consent order
that enabled Ciba Geigy Ltd. and San-
doz Ltd. to merge under the name No-
vartis. The consent order was de-
signed to settled claims that the
merger would reduce competition in
the development and commercializa-
tion of certain gene therapy products
for cancer and graft.
On July 17
, Pharmos Corp.
(PARS) and Chiron agreed to jointly
out-license a new protein delivery
technology relating to methods and
compositions for solubilization and
stabilization of polypeptides. The
technology uses cyclodextrin deriva-
tives to stabilize proteins against pro-
cesses of denaturation or aggregation.
Patents covering the technology have
been issued in several countries in
Europe, Canada and Australia, while
patents are pending in the U.S. and

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