) recently announced that it has initiated an underwritten public
offering to sell 2.2 million shares of its common stock. The
amount represents approximately 3.1% of the total number of
shares outstanding at Pharmacyclics. Pharmacyclics will be
responsible for selling all the shares. The company also expects
to provide the underwriters with a 30-day over-allotment option
for an additional 0.33 million shares.
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Pharmacyclics intends to utilize the net proceeds to develop its
pipeline including its lead candidate ibrutinib. Pharmacyclics is
being co-developed with Janssen Biotech, a
Johnson & Johnson
) company, for multiple indications.
We remind investors that in 2012 the company received orphan drug
and fast track designations in the US for ibrutinib for the
treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The candidate also
enjoys orphan drug and fast track designations for the treatment
of mantle cell lymphoma.
In Feb 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted
breakthrough therapy designation to ibrutinib for treating MCL
patients as a monotherapy. The FDA granted a similar status to
ibrutinib for treating patients suffering from Waldenström's
macroglobulinemia also as a monotherapy. Both the indications are
B-cell malignancies. We expect investors focus to remain on the
development of ibrutinib.
Pharmacyclics is also developing candidates for the treatment of
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, refractory follicular lymphoma and
multiple myeloma. Most of these candidates are in phase II
Pharmacyclics, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank
#3 (Hold). Biopharmaceutical stocks, which currently look more
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.
). Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).