Pipeline Progress at XOMA

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XOMA Corporation (XOMA) recently progressed with its pipeline candidate gevokizumab. XOMA announced that it has completed enrolling patients in a phase II proof-of-concept study (n=90) on gevokizumab (60 mg).

Gevokizumab is being developed to improve pain symptoms, physical function and structural abnormalities in patients suffering from active inflammatory, erosive osteoarthritis of the hand (:EOA) and elevated C-reactive protein (:CRP) levels. The patients enrolled in the study were randomized 2:1 to receive gevokizumab dosed subcutaneously once monthly or placebo.

The study will also evaluate multiple outcome measures, including pain, stiffness, physical function, X-ray, radiographic and MRI changes. XOMA intends to reveal preliminary top-line data from the study in Oct 2013.

We note that last month XOMA along with partner, Servier, launched a proof-of-concept clinical program for the development of gevokizumab. XOMA and Servier are evaluating the use of gevokizumab in a number of indications including non-infectious uveitis (:NIU) involving the intermediate and/or posterior portion of the eye and Behçet’s uveitis.

The candidate is also being assessed for inflammatory acne in a phase II proof-of-concept study. In Jan 2013, preliminary top-line data from the study was reported following an interim analysis.

Moreover, in Jun 2013, XOMA initiated a pilot study to evaluate the use of gevokizumab in patients suffering from acute inflammatory pyoderma gangrenosum, a form of neutrophilic dermatoses.

XOMA carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies that currently look attractive include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT) and Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CADX). All the three carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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