Today was a good day for those of you who added or bought for the first time.
Pharmacyclics: The small-molecule oncology company said March 8 it raised $207 million in a secondary share offering. Like Tetraphase, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Pharmacyclics is striking quickly in the wake of good regulatory news. In February, the FDA granted its ibrutinib, partnered with Johnson & Johnson, breakthrough status in two blood cancers. Pharmacyclics sold 2.2 million shares, about 3% of outstanding shares, at $94.20 each, capping for now a remarkable run that saw the firm’s share price nearly quadruple in 12 months. It closed March 8, 2012 at $25.40. Most of that rise came before the FDA’s breakthrough designation for ibrutinib, the first for an oncology drug. FDA’s Office of New Drugs Director John Jenkins has described as reserved for drugs with early results that are “so impressive, so unexpected and ha[ve] such a dramatic impact on the treatment of patients with that disease” that the sponsors and drug regulators should do all they can to move it forward. One of the few clear criteria for breakthrough status is that there is early clinical evidence of substantial improvement over existing therapy. FDA granted breakthrough designation to ibrutinib for two B-cell malignancies: relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), for which there are an estimated 5,000 new cases in the U.S. per year, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM), an even rarer disease with about 1,500 cases in the U.S. per year. Ibrutinib is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor. J&J’s Janssen Biotech licensed rights to the drug in December 2011 in a deal that included a $150 million upfront payment, the largest paid for a single asset that year.Have a nice weekend..And best of luck.