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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Tocagen Tumbles, OncoSec Offering, Novartis Asthma Combo Drug Study

Shanthi Rexaline

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours:

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on May 21)

  • Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ: ARRY) (announced positive late-stage results for its colorectal cancer combo drug)


Down In The Dumps

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week lows on May 21)

  • Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ: ADMP)(announced a patent litigation against it for its naloxone injection product candidate that is currently under regulatory review)

  • BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: BCRX)(reacted to late-stage study data for its hereditary angioedema prevention candidate)

  • Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGI) (reacted to its first-quarter results)

  • Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ: COLL)

  • Hookipa Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: HOOK) (reacted to its first-quarter results)

  • Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ: OCUL) (reported negative Phase 3 readout for glaucoma treatment candidate)

  • Theravance Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ: TBPH) (reported Phase 1b data of its gut-selective pan-Janus kinase inhibitor TD-1473 at the Digestive Disease Week 2019)

  • Trillium Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TRIL)

Stock In Focus Tocagen's Brian Cancer Gene Therapy Trials Continue With Modification

Tocagen Inc (NASDAQ: TOCA) announced the Phase 3 trial evaluating its Toca 511 and Toca FC gene therapies in patients with recurrent high grade glioma continues without modification. The decision follows a planned interim analysis of data conducted by an Independent Data Monitoring Committee.

The company said it plans to release the final analysis of the Toca 5 trial by the end of the year.

The stock slumped 30.61 percent to $6.12 in after-hours trading, apparently on investor worry about a long-drawn-out trial.

Novartis' Asthma Combo Treatment Found Superior In Mid-stage Trial

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) presented new Phase 2 data for IND/GLY/MF, codenamed QVM149, an investigational once-daily, fixed-dose, combo asthma treatment, delivered with the dose-confirming Breezhaler inhalation device, which showed the combo treatment option was superior to the comparators salmeterol/fluticasone propionate, a standard of care, and placebo.

Novartis' combo treatment demonstrated improvement in lung function in patients with asthma. The data was presented at the International Congress of the American Thoracic Society 2019 annual meeting.

The stock rose modestly in after-hours trading.

Argenx Advances Two Preclinical Candidates Into Clinics

Argenx SE – ADR (NASDAQ: ARGX) said ahead of its R&D day it has expanded its pipeline with AGRX-117 and ARGX-118, two new pipeline candidates from its Innovative Access Program addressing first-in-class targets. The company also said it will provide updates on the development plan of its ARGX-110, developed in collaboration with an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)'s Janssen unit.

View more earnings on IBB

Meanwhile, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) said it will receive a $10 million milestone payment from Argenx during the current quarter following the latter selecting a second target – ARGX-117 – under the collaboration and license agreement between the companies. Halozyme also stands to receive potential future payments of up to $160 million, subject to achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales-based milestones.


OncoSec Medical Inc (NASDAQ: ONCS) intends to offer for sale a combination of shares and warrants in an underwritten public offering.

The stock slumped 23.25 percent to $3.07 in after-hours trading.

Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: EKSO) is commencing an underwritten public offering of shares of its common stock and warrants to purchase shares of its common stock. All securities would be offered by the company.

The stock plunged 22.04 percent to $1.45 in after-hours trading.

Insmed Incorporated (NASDAQ: INSM) priced a registered underwritten public offering of 9.62 million shares at $26 per share, with gross proceeds expected to be about $25 million.

NeoGenomics, Inc. (NASDAQ: NEO) priced its public offering of 7 million shares at $21.25 per share for gross proceeds of $148.75 million. The company expects the offering to close May 24.

On The Radar Clinical Trial Readouts

Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PIRS) is scheduled to present initial Phase 1 data from healthy subjects for its PRS-060 at the American Thoracic Society 2019 Conference. PRS-060 is being evaluated for moderate to severe asthma.


Affimed NV (NASDAQ: AFMD) (before the market open)
Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TARO) (after the market close)
Organovo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: ONVO) (after the market close)

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