NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / June 21, 2017 / The Biotech Industry has continued to outperform the broader markets in 2017. Biotech companies appear to be benefitting from a speedier FDA approval process in 2017. There have already been 21 new Novel Drug Approvals so far in 2017, compared to just 22 new approvals in all of 2016.The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF have posted year-to-date gains of 14.4 and 26.68 percent, respectively, compared to gains of 8.63 percent and 8.85 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index.
RDI Initiates Coverage on:
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC
ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc.
GW Pharmaceuticals' shares gained 2.97 percent to close at $104.23 a share on Tuesday. The stock traded between $101.24 and $105.88 on volume of 379,030 shares traded. The company reported revenues were £3.7 million ($4.6 million) for the six months ended March 31, 2017, compared to £6.3 million for the six months ended March 31, 2016. Cash and cash equivalents were £306.3 million ($383.9 million) as of March 31 st, 2017, compared to £374.4 million as of September 30th, 2016. Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals have fallen approximately 6.73 percent year-to-date.
"Our primary focus is on the submission of the Epidiolex NDA, which is expected in the middle of this year. Based on the efficacy and safety profile, we are confident in the prospects for an Epidiolex approval and continue to expand the commercial organization in preparation for a highly successful launch," commented Justin Gover, GW's Chief Executive Officer, in the company's fiscal second quarter 2017 earnings release.
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ZIOPHARM Oncology's shares jumped 6.45 percent to close at $5.78 a share on Tuesday. The stock traded between $5.42 and $6.11 on volume of 2.39 million shares traded. ZIOPHARM is employing novel gene expression, control and cell technologies to deliver safe, effective and scalable cell- and viral-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and graft-versus-host-disease. On June 5th, the company announced positive results from its Phase 1 multicenter study of Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + veledimex in patients with recurrent or progressive glioblastoma (GBM). Shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology have gained approximately 8.04 percent year-to-date.
"With the ability to control and turn IL-12 expression on and off from within the brain tumor, Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + veledimex offers the potential to safely direct one of the most potent anti-cancer immune cytokines against one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers," said E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, Harvey W. Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Surgical Director, Center for Neuro-oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Chairman, Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Co-Director, Institute for the Neurosciences, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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