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ICPT Catches Investors' Eyes, TCON Abuzz, IMMU Inks $2Bln Deal With SGEN

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Catalyst Biosciences Inc. (CBIO) has announced a one-for-fifteen reverse stock split of its common stock in order to regain compliance with $1.00 minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market.

The reverse stock split will come into effect at the opening of trading on February 13, 2017. Following the reverse split, the number of shares of the company's common stock outstanding will decrease from approximately 13.0 million pre-split shares to roughly 868,000 post-split shares.

CBIO closed Friday's trading at $0.51, down 6.36%.

Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ICPT) rose more than 5% on Friday, following a few changes in the protocol of its ongoing phase III trial of obeticholic acid in patients with non-cirrhotic nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with advanced liver fibrosis.

For the phase III trial, dubbed REGENERATE, initially two co-primary endpoints namely fibrosis improvement with no worsening of NASH, and NASH resolution with no worsening of fibrosis, were needed in order for the trial to be considered successful. But now achievement of any one of the endpoints is enough.

Additionally, the target enrollment for the pre-planned interim histology analysis has now been reduced to 750 patients from the initial target of 1,400 patients. The completion of enrollment of the interim analysis cohort is now expected to be by mid-2017 and not within the first half of 2017 as previously stated, the company noted.

ICPT closed Friday's trading at $118.51, up 5.16%.

Immunomedics Inc. (IMMU) touched a new 52-week high on Friday, following an exclusive global licensing agreement worth over $2 billion with Seattle Genetics (SGEN) related to its antibody-drug conjugate, Sacituzumab govitecan, or IMMU-132.

Sacituzumab Govitecan (IMMU-132) is Immunomedics' lead investigational drug. As part of the agreement, Seattle Genetics will take up the initiation of phase IIII clinical trials of IMMU-132 in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and will be responsible for submitting the initial Biologics License Application to the FDA for accelerated approval.

The agreement entitles Immunomedics to receive $250 million in upfront cash and an additional $50 million payment relating to rights outside the U.S., Canada and the EU. The remaining amount of $1.7 billion will be paid to Immunomedics upon achieving certain clinical, development, regulatory and sales milestones.

Through February 19, 2017, Immunomedics has also been allowed to negotiate with other companies related to the rights of Sacituzumab Govitecan and accept a superior proposal. Seattle Genetics has the right to match any superior proposal and if it decides not to match, Immunomedics has the right to accept the superior proposal and terminate the proposed development and license agreement upon payment of a termination fee to Seattle Genetics.

Separately, Seattle Genetics has purchased 3 million shares of Immunomedics at a per share price of $4.90, and has secured three-year warrant to purchase an additional 8,655,804 shares of Immunomedics at the same price ($4.90/share).

IMMU touched a new high of $5.89 on Friday before closing the day's trading at $5.23, up 21.63%.

Shares of TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TCON) plunged over 14% on Friday as its phase II trial of TRC105 in recurrent glioblastoma failed to meet the primary endpoint.

In the trial, TRC105 combined with Avastin was compared to single agent Avastin in a total of 101 patients with recurrent GBM following chemoradiation. According to the study results, the combination of TRC105 and Avastin did not meet the primary endpoint of three-month improvement in progression free survival compared to single agent Avastin.

TCON closed Friday's trading at $4.15, down 14.43%.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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