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Avastin Wins One More Approval, AUXL, ARIA, OPK Announce Offering, VSTA Succeeds

1/24/2013 4:22 AM ET

Roche Holding AG's (RHHBY.PK) Avastin in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based irinotecan or oxaliplatin chemotherapy has been approved for a new use for people with metastatic colorectal cancer. This marks the third approval for Avastin in metastatic colorectal cancer based on improved overall survival. The drug is not indicated for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.

Opexa Therapeutics Inc. (OPXA: Quote) on Wednesday closed a private offering of unsecured convertible promissory notes and warrants to purchase shares of common stock for gross proceeds of $650,000. The net proceeds from the financing will be used to continue its phase IIb clinical study of Tcelna in patients with Secondary Progressive MS and general corporate purposes.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUXL: Quote) said it intends to offer $200.0 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Senior Notes due 2018. Shares dropped 4.22% in extended trading on Wednesday to $17.95.

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc.'s (NBIX: Quote) proprietary Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 inhibitor (VMAT2) NBI-98854 has been granted two additional patents one by the European Patent Office and the other by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

NBI-98854 is under phase II testing for moderate to severe tardive dyskinesia and underlying mood disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Topline results from the study are expected in mid-2013.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA: Quote) intends to commence an underwritten public offering of shares of its common stock and get the needed fund to support global commercialization of its leukemia drug Iclusig, and additional clinical development of its investigational targeted cancer medicines. The actual size or terms of the offering are yet to be revealed.

OPKO Health Inc. (OPK: Quote) fell more than 3% in extended trading Wednesday after the company announced that it plans to sell about $150 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2033 in a private offering.

OXiGENE Inc. (OXGN: Quote) has appointed David Chaplin to its board of directors. Chaplin formerly served as chief scientific officer and head of research and development at OXiGENE, and more recently has been a scientific advisor to the company.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA: Quote) on Wednesday reported that its second phase III study of Armodafinil in patients with major depression associated with bipolar 1 disorder did not reach statistical significance in meeting its primary endpoint. The study was designed to determine whether Armodafinil treatment, at a dosage of 150 mg per day, is more effective than placebo as adjunct therapy to mood stabilizers and/or atypical antipsychotics. Given the fact that the first phase III study was successful, Teva intends to continue with the third phase III trial of Armodafinil.

VistaGen Therapeutics Inc. (VSTA.OB) has successfully completed its final phase 1 safety study of AV-101, a prodrug candidate that is being developed for chronic neuropathic pain. The company noted that launching a broad strategic collaboration to advance development and commercialization of AV-101 is among its key goals this year.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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