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CARA Abuzz, CERS Up 20% In 5 Days, KURA Turns Heads, JNCE Making Iconic Moves

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The following are some of today's top gainers in the pharma/biotech sector.

1. Cara Therapeutics Inc. (CARA)

Gained 17.20% to close Wednesday's (Jan.24) trading at $16.08.

News: No news

Clinical Trials & Near-term Catalysts:

-- The Company's lead drug candidate is I.V. CR845, which is under a phase III safety study for the treatment of chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) in hemodialysis patients. The first phase III pivotal efficacy trial is expected to be initiated soon.
-- A phase II trial with Oral CR845 in non-hemodialysis patients with chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus is planned for Q1, 2018.
-- A phase I trial with Oral CR845 in chronic liver disease is expected to be initiated in Q1, 2018.
-- A phase III study with I.V. CR845 in post-operative pain in abdominal surgeries is underway, with enrollment expected to be completed in Q1, 2018, and data anticipated in the first half of 2018.

2. Cerus Corporation (CERS)

Gained 15.70% to close Wednesday's trading at $5.01.

News: The Company reported positive results from its phase III study evaluating INTERCEPT Blood System for Red Blood Cells in thalassemia patients, dubbed SPARC.

The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma has received approval in the U.S. and Europe. The INTERCEPT Blood System for Red Blood Cells is not approved yet.

Near-term Catalysts:

-- The Company is expected to report fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results, and host a call in early March.
-- The Company plans to make a filing seeking CE mark for INTERCEPT RBC in second half of 2018.

3. MacroGenics Inc. (MGNX)

Gained 14.72% to close Wednesday's trading at $23.23.

News: An independent data safety monitoring committee, which carried out a futility analysis on a phase III clinical study comparing Margetuximab plus chemotherapy against Trastuzumab plus chemotherapy in subjects with metastatic breast cancer, dubbed SOPHIA, has asked the Company to continue the study without any modifications.

The Company also announced that Margetuximab for treatment of patients with metastatic or locally advanced HER2 positive breast cancer who have previously been treated with anti-HER2-targeted therapy has been assigned a Fast Track status by the FDA.

4. Kura Oncology Inc. (KURA)

Gained 10.80% to close Wednesday's trading at $20.00.

News: No news

Pipeline:

The Company's lead drug candidate is Tipifarnib, which is under phase II trials in HRAS Mutant Solid Tumors, Peripheral T-cell Lymphomas, Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia. Another clinical drug candidate in the pipeline is KO-947, under phase I study in solid tumors.

Near-term Catalysts:

-- Kura reported positive results from its phase II study for Tipifarnib in HRAS Mutant Head and Neck Cancer on September 7, 2017. Updated results from this trial are expected in February 2018.
-- Data from the phase II trials of Tipifarnib in the other indications, and phase I trial of KO-947 are expected this year.

5. Jounce Therapeutics Inc. (JNCE)

Gained 8.60% to close Thursday's trading at $23.50.

News: No news

The Company made its debut on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on January 27, 2017, offering its shares at a price of $16.00 each. The stock has gained more than 40% in the last 5 trading days.

Pipeline:

The Company's lead product candidate is JTX-2011 that is currently in phase II portion of Phase 1/2 trial in patients with solid tumors in both monotherapy and combination settings, dubbed ICONIC.

The Company has a global strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation (CELG) focused on developing and commercializing innovative immuno-oncology treatments for patients with cancer, including options on JTX-2011.

Near-term Catalyst:

-- Preliminary efficacy evaluation of the ICONIC trial is expected in Q2, 2018.

6. Accuray Inc. (ARAY)

Gained 7.69% to close Thursday's trading at $5.60.

News: The Company reported a narrower loss, and 15% higher revenue for the second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2017.

Net loss in the recent second quarter shrunk to $4.7 million or $0.06 per share on total revenue of $100.3 million. This compared with a net loss of $9.4 million or $0.11 per share and revenue of $87.5 million in the prior fiscal year second quarter.

Looking ahead, the Company confirmed its fiscal 2018 revenue at $390.0 million to $400.0 million range, representing growth of approximately 2 percent to 4 percent year-over-year.

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