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An Ear To The Pharma: 9 Stocks To Watch This Week (RIGL, RARE, TROV, DVAX...)

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The week that went by started with a couple of big-ticket deals being inked.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NVS), on April 9th, agreed to acquire clinical-stage gene therapy company AveXis Inc. (AVXS) for $218 per share or a total approximate value of $8.7 billion. Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), on April 11th, announced that is buying Sweden-based Wilson Therapeutics for $855 million in cash, in a bid to expand its rare disease therapeutic footprint.

AveXis, which is being snapped up by Novartis, was the top gainer of the week- returning 82%.

Another stock that caught the attention of investors in the week was Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM), which gained more than 40%. On April 12th, the Company announced that the FDA has lifted the clinical hold on BPX-501 studies in the U.S. BPX-501 is under multiple phase 1/2 clinical trials in adults and pediatric patients with leukemias, lymphomas, and genetic blood diseases in the U.S. and Europe.

Now, let's take a look at the pharma/biotech stocks and upcoming events to keep an ear out for in the coming week.

1. BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BVXV)

BiondVax is an advanced clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a universal flu vaccine called M-001.

Last July, the Company reported statistically significant positive results from its phase 2b clinical trial of M-001, conducted in collaboration with the EU-sponsored UNISEC consortium.

Watch out for…

The Company will be presenting the results from the above mentioned clinical trial of M-001 on April 16, 2018. The Company will also be presenting its plans for the pivotal, clinical efficacy phase III trial, expected to begin this year.

BVXV closed Friday's trading at $6.37, up 2.90%.

2. Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (TRIL)

Trillium is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.

The Company's lead program is TTI-621, which is in phase I clinical trial for advanced hematologic malignancies, and solid tumors and mycosis fungoides.

Next up in the pipeline is TTI-622. A two-part, phase 1a/1b study of TTI-622 in patients with advanced relapsed or refractory lymphoma or multiple myeloma has been initiated, with the first patient expected to be dosed in Q2 2018.

Watch out for...

Preclinical data of TTI-621 and TTI-622 programs are expected to be presented at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on April 16, 2018.

TRIL closed Friday's trading at $7.05.

3. Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RIGL)

Rigel Pharma's oral drug candidate Tavalisse, proposed for the treatment of adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia, is under FDA review, with a decision expected on April 17, 2018.

If approved, analysts expect Tavalisse to rake in peak sales of $360 million.

RIGL closed Friday's trading at $3.95, up 1.02%.

4. Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (RARE)

The FDA is slated to announce its decision on Ultragenyx Pharma's investigational drug Burosumab, proposed for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with X-Linked Hypophosphatemia, on April 17, 2018.

X-linked hypophosphatemia, or XLH, is a rare, hereditary renal phosphate-wasting disorder characterized by hypophosphatemia, rickets and/or osteomalacia, and diminished growth.

RARE closed Friday's trading at $53.12, down 3.31%.

5. Celyad SA (CYAD)

Celyad is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of CART-cell therapies.

A phase I study of CYAD-01 in seven refractory cancers including five solid tumors (colorectal, ovarian, bladder, triple-negative breast and pancreatic cancers) and two hematological tumors (acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma), dubbed THINK, and a phase I study of multiple doses of CYAD-01, administered concurrently with the neoadjuvant FOLFOX treatment in patients with potentially resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer, dubbed SHRINK, are ongoing.

Watch out for…

Updates on the ongoing THINK and SHRINK trials are expected to be announced at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting on April 17, 2018.

CYAD closed Friday's trading at $31.38, down 3.05%.

6. Dynavax Technologies Corp. (DVAX)

Dynavax is a biopharmaceutical company focused on leveraging the power of the body's innate and adaptive immune responses through toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation.

The Company has one commercial product, HEPLISAV-B, a hepatitis B vaccine for adults, approved in the United States, and two investigational cancer immunotherapeutic products - SD-101, currently being evaluated in phase 1/2 studies, and DV281 in phase 1 development.

Watch out for…

Data from an ongoing phase Ib/II study investigating SD-101 in combination with Merck's Keytruda will be presented at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting on April 17, 2018.

DVAX closed Friday's trading at $19.75, down 4.82%.

7. TrovaGene Inc. (TROV)

Trovagene is a clinical-stage, precision medicine oncology therapeutics company.

The Company's lead drug candidate is PCM-075, which is in phase Ib/II clinical trial in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and has completed a phase I clinical trial in advanced solid tumors.

Watch out for…

Preliminary patient data from the ongoing phase 1b/2 trial of PCM-075 in AML patients will be presented on April 17, 2018.

TROV closed Friday's trading at $0.36, up 6.18%.

8. Seattle Genetics Inc. (SGEN)

Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company developing drugs based on antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology.

The Company has one marketed product Adcetris, and a robust pipeline of novel therapies for solid tumors and blood-related cancers.

Adcetris is a CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate, indicated for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and CD30-expressing mycosis fungoides.

Watch out for…

The first preclinical data describing the novel empowered antibody SEA-BCMA will be presented on April 17, 2018. A phase I trial of SEA-BCMA for multiple myeloma is planned for 2018.

Clinical biomarker data from a phase I trial of SGN-2FF in patients with advanced solid tumors will be presented on April 18, 2018.

SGEN closed Friday's trading at $50.24, down 2.69%.

9. GW Pharmaceuticals plc. (GWPH)

On April 19, 2018, a panel of outside experts convened by the FDA is scheduled to review GW Pharma's NDA for Epidiolex, proposed for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older.

Epidiolex is the Company's proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol, or CBD.

The FDA's final decision on Epidiolex is expected by June 27, 2018.

If approved, analysts expect Epidiolex to bring in excess of $1 billion in annual peak sales.

GWPH closed Friday's trading at $123.95, up 1.18%.

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