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Moleculin Files New Patents for Cancer Candidate Annamycin

Zacks Equity Research

Moleculin Biotech, Inc. MBRX announced that it has filed new patents, covering the production and reconstitution of its cancer candidate, annamycin, which is being developed for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Annamycin, an anthracycline, is currently being evaluated in two phase I/II studies for treating relapsed/refractory AML. On approval, the new patents will provide a protection of 20 years for annamycin.

Shares of the company were up 6.9% following this news on Wednesday. In fact, the stock has rallied 19.2% so far this year, outperforming the industry’s rise of 3%.

In April this year, the FDA granted a Fast Track Designation to annamycin for treating relapsed or refractory AML. The candidate also enjoys an orphan drug status for addressing AML.

In March, Moleculin announced positive interim safety and efficacy results from the phase I/II studies on annamycin for treating AML conducted both in the United States and Europe.

Annamycin is also being evaluated in preclinical studies for treating metastatic lung cancer. In April 2019, the company announced that annamycin significantly improved the survival rate in an aggressive form of triple negative breast cancer metastasized to the lungs in animal models.

Apart from annamycin, the company has interesting candidates, both in clinical and pre-clinical studies for treating several oncological indications. For instance, WP1066 is being developed for the treatment of brain tumors as well as AML and pancreatic cancer.

Another candidate, WP1220, which is a STAT3 inhibitor, is being examined for the treatment of Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). In February this year, Moleculin received an approval in Poland to begin clinical probes on WP1220 for the topical treatment of CTCL.

Additionally, WP1732, a preclinical candidate, is currently being evaluated for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The company plans to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application for the same in 2020.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Moleculin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Merus N.V. MRUS, Innoviva, Inc. INVA and Kadmon Holdings, Inc. KDMN, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Merus’ loss per share estimates have been narrowed 24.6% for 2019 and 24% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has gained 7.3% so far this year.

Innoviva’s earnings estimates have moved 10.9% north for 2019 and 11.6% for 2020 over the past 60 days.

Kadmon’s loss per share estimates have been narrowed 23.9% for 2019 and 8.3% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has grown 12.5% so far this year.

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