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OBLN Gaining Weight, CHFS On Track, EIDX On Watch, VKTX Up 178% YTD

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

1. Obalon Therapeutics Inc. (OBLN)

Obalon is the maker of the first and only FDA approved swallowable, gas-filled balloon for weight loss.

Gained 52% to close Thursday's (Aug.23) trading at $2.66.

News: The Company will sell approximately 5.5 million shares of common stock in a private placement at a price of $1.82 per share.

The private placement, which will result in gross proceeds of $10 million, is expected to close on or about August 27, 2018.

Recent event:

On August 2, the Company reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.

Net loss was $9.8 million or $0.57 per share on revenue of $2.7 million for the second quarter of 2018. This compared to a net loss of $7.7 million or $0.46 per share and revenue of $2.0 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company ended Q2, 2018 with cash of $25.2 million.

2. Biocept Inc. (BIOC)

Gained 18.33% to close Thursday's trading at $3.55.

News: Highmark Health, an integrated health care delivery and financing network, announced that through its VITAL Innovation Program, it is testing Biocept's Target Selector liquid biopsy platform designed to help oncologists improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

The goals of the collaboration are to improve health outcomes by using liquid biopsy to more rapidly assess a patient's molecular status and select appropriate therapy, while reducing the overall cost of care.

Recent events:

-- On August 14, the Company reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.

The net loss for the second quarter of 2018 was $6.2 million or $2.70 per share on 2.3 million weighted-average shares outstanding. This compares with a net loss for the second quarter of 2017 of $5.7 million or $6.32 per share on 901,000 weighted-average shares outstanding. Revenues for the second quarter of 2018 declined to $822,000 from $1.3 million for the second quarter of 2017.
-- On July 10, 2018, the Company implemented a 1 for 30 reverse stock split.

3. CHF Solutions Inc. (CHFS)

Gained 14.55% to close Thursday's trading at $1.26.

News: The Company announced it has now completed the transition of all manufacturing activities related to Aquadex FlexFlow with the initiation of in-house catheter manufacturing at its facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

With the initiation of internal catheter production, CHF Solutions has now completed the transfer of all manufacturing activities of the Aquadex FlexFlow system from Baxter.

Aquadex FlexFlow system is indicated for ultrafiltration to reduce fluid overload in patients when diuretics fail. The device is FDA 510(k) market cleared and CE marked.

4. Aileron Therapeutics Inc. (ALRN)

Gained 10.95% to close Thursday's trading at $2.33.

News: No news

Pipeline:

The Company's lead product candidate is ALRN-6924.

Multiple clinical studies of ALRN-6924 are underway, including a Phase 1 All-comers trial in advanced solid tumors or lymphomas, a Phase 2a trial in peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), a Phase 1 trial in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and advanced myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) as a monotherapy, and a Phase 1b trial in AML/MDS in combination with cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C).

Near-term Catalysts:

-- Additional interim data from the Phase 2a trial of ALRN-6924 for the treatment of patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma are expected to be reported in the fourth quarter of 2018.
-- Interim data from Phase 1 and 1b open-label, multi-center clinical trials of ALRN-6924 as a monotherapy and in combination with cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C) for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are expected in the fourth quarter of this year.
-- John Longenecker was named interim Chief Executive Officer on May 15, 2018. Aileron is actively engaged in a process to appoint a new CEO.

5. Eidos Therapeutics Inc. (EIDX)

Gained 9.85% to close Thursday's trading at $20.64.

News: No news

Recent event:

The Company's shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 20, 2018, at an offering price of $17 each.

Clinical Trials & Near-term Catalysts:

A phase II clinical trial of AG10 in patients with ATTR cardiomyopathy is underway. Top-line results from this trial are expected to be reported by the end of 2018.

6. Viking Therapeutics Inc. (VKTX)

Gained 9.09% to close Thursday's trading at $11.40.

News: No news

Near-term Catalysts:

-- The Company has completed enrollment in the Phase 2 trial of VK2809 in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated LDL cholesterol, and looks forward to reporting the results from this study in the fall.
-- Dosing of patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial of VK2809 in GSD Ia is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018.

GSD Ia is a rare genetic disease that results in an excess accumulation of glycogen and lipids in the liver, potentially leading to hepatic steatosis, hepatic adenomas, and hepatocellular carcinomaina.

-- IND-enabling work for VK0214 in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) has been initiated, and an IND seeking to conduct a proof-of-concept study in X-ALD is expected to be filed in 2019.

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