(RTTNews.com) - The week that marked the official beginning of Spring witnessed wild swings in the biotech sector with, Geron Corp. (GERN), the top gainer of the week, jumping more than 67%, and Aethlon Medical Inc. ( AEMD ), the top loser, shedding over 35% of its stock price.
Geron's lead drug candidate is Imetelstat, which is being developed for the potential treatment of hematologic myeloid malignancies. Optimism about Imetelstat seems to be driving the stock higher while the plunge in Aethlon Medical stock was not associated with any news.
Another topic that dominated the headlines this week was the Omnibus spending bill to fund the government through the end of September 2018.
The $1.3 trillion spending bill was signed by President Trump on Friday, with the FDA receiving a total of $2.9 billion in discretionary funding, which is $135 million higher than last year's. Total funding for the FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $5.15 billion.
Let's take a look at the pharma stocks and upcoming events to keep an ear out for in the coming week.
ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)
ImmunoGen is a pioneer in the field of antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs.
The Company's lead product candidate is Mirvetuximab soravtansine, an ADC, under a phase III trial as a single agent for the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, dubbed FORWARD I, and under a phase 1b/2 study as combination regimens for both platinum-resistant and platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer, known as FORWARD II.
In the FORWARD II trial, Mirvetuximab soravtansine is evaluated in combination with Avastin, carboplatin, Doxil or Keytruda.
Initial safety and preliminary efficacy data from the FORWARD II trial that were presented last May were promising.
The updated dose-escalation findings from the Mirvetuximab soravtansine plus Keytruda combination cohort in the FORWARD II trial, presented on Mar.24, 2018, demonstrated encouraging signs of efficacy and a favorable safety profile in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
Watch out for...
-- The interim futility analysis of the FORWARD I trial will be conducted this month.
IMGN closed Friday's (Mar.23) trading at $12.10, down 0.49%.
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp. (RXII)
RXi Pharma is developing immuno-oncology therapeutics, based on its proprietary RNAi technology platform.
Watch out for...
-- The Company is scheduled to report its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017, and provide a business update on March 26, 2018 after the close of the U.S. financial markets.
RXII closed Friday's trading at $4.07, up 0.25%.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALNY)
Alnylam is developing RNAi therapeutics, a new class of innovative medicines that has the potential to treat rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, and hepatic infectious diseases.
The most advanced RNAi therapeutic candidate in the Company's pipeline is Patisiran for the treatment of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis, an inherited, progressively debilitating, and often fatal disease caused by mutations in the TTR gene.
Patisiran is under FDA review, with a decision expected on August 11, 2018.
Watch out our...
-- Additional results from APOLLO, the phase III study based on which the Patisiran NDA was submitted, will be presented on March 28, 2018, at the 16th International Symposium on Amyloidosis (ISA), being held in Kumamoto, Japan.
ALNY closed Friday's trading at $138.06, down 3.12%.
Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
Biotechnology giant Amgen awaits the FDA decision on its supplemental Biologics License Application for Blincyto.
The drug is already approved for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Watch out forâ€¦
-- The FDA is slated to announce its decision on Blincyto's expanded use for the treatment of patients suffering or inflicted with minimal residual disease- positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia on March 29, 2018.
On March 7, 2018, the FDA'sOncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 8-4, recommending approval of the drug for the expanded use.
AMGN closed Friday's trading at $169.43, down 3.78%.
Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (ESPR)
Esperion is developing targeted therapies to lower LDL-cholesterol for patients not adequately treated with current lipid-modifying therapies.
The Company's lead drug candidate is Bempedoic acid, a once-daily, oral LDL-C lowering drug that significantly reduces elevated LDL-C levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia, including patients inadequately treated with current lipid-modifying therapies.
Watch out for...
-- Top-line data from a phase II clinical study of Bempedoic acid when added-on to an injectable proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitor (PCSK9i) therapy are due this month.
ESPR closed Friday's trading at $70.17, down 0.28%.
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