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Biogen Inc. Message Board

  • yogoya98 yogoya98 May 13, 1998 11:29 AM Flag

    Jump in price

    Why the jump in IDPH today? Was there a change in recommendation?

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    • LOS ANGELES (Dow Jones)--Cruttenden Roth Inc.
      analyst Wole Fayemi initiated coverage of two companies
      that have developed competing drugs to treat lymphoma,
      or white-blood-cell cancer, using monoclonal
      antibodies.

      Fayemi started IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. (IDPH) with a
      buy rating and Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc. (CLTR) at
      neutral.

      In a research note, Fayemi said market conditions
      favor IDEC. Its Rituxin, launched in January, has about
      an 18-month lead to market over Coulter's Bexxar,
      Fayemi said. A second IDEC product that will be used
      with Rituxin, IDEC-Y2B8, is expected to hit the market
      shortly after Bexxar, leaving Bexxar only a small window
      of opportunity to establish itself in the
      marketplace, in
      Fayemi's opinion.

      Rituxin also has
      the capacity to be incorporated into
      standard
      chemotherapies, while Coulter's Bexxar "will have to fight to
      establish itself in the market against standard regimens,"
      Fayemi said. Bexxar, currently in phase III trials,
      contains a radioactive iodine molecule that can't be used
      in combination with standard chemotherapy treatment
      because of its toxicity.

      Therefore, Bexxar must
      show itself to be a superior alternative to
      chemotherapy in order to convince doctors and the Food and
      Drug Administration of its value, Fayemi said. Given
      this requirement, Fayemi said he's "not too impressed"
      with interim results of the trials released by Coulter
      on Tuesday - even though investors bid the stock up
      on the news.

      Of the 22 patients in the trial
      who provided adequate data for analysis, 10 showed
      longer duration of response on Bexxar while three showed
      longer duration of response on chemotherapy. In the
      other nine patients, the duration was
      equivalent.

      "With the data being marginal, at best, (Coulter's)
      stock at the current price is way too risky," Fayemi
      said.

      Coulter closed Wednesday at 34, down 1/8, on Nasdaq,
      while IDEC rose 1 1/8 to 36.

      - By Anthony
      Palazzo; 714-739-5538;
      tony.palazzo@cor.dowjones.com

      (END) DOW JONES NEWS 05-14-98

      08:26 AM

 
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