Healthcare Business

Hematology Meeting to Give Biotechs Boost Today

by H.S. Ayoub

Monday looks to be a great day for biotech stocks as this past weekend saw a flurry of news releases announcing clinical trial data and results at the 48th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which is taking place from December 9 through 12 in Orlando, Florida.

At the forefront of the excitement on Saturday was Amgen (AMGN) as the company announced that patients suffering from anemia of cancer showed a hematopoietic response after being administred with Aranesp in a phase II trial.

Not to be outdone Biogen Idec (BIIB) announced on Sunday that data from its phase I/II study investigating the use of its anti-CD23 antibody, lumiliximab, with common therapy in patients with progressive Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) supported further development.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS) announced that preliminary phase I results showed its lead compound, SNS-595, was tolerated and had positive clinical activity in patients suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) presented pre-clinical results of its kinase inhibitor AP24534, as it was shown to inhibit the Bcr-Abl-T315I mutant, found in 25% of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). Novartis’s (NVS) nilotinib and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) dasatinib have no effect on this particular genetic mutant of CML.

Bioenvision (BIVN) used no less than 7 posters to illustrate the latest data from its clofarabine clinical trials treating acute leukemias in both children and adults.

Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR) also provided an update through a poster presentation. Data from its phase II trial evaluating PROCHYMAL for the treatment of acute Graft vs. Host Disease showed that patients were twice as likely to recover from the condition, and the 120 day survival rate was 90%.

Look for these companies and biotech stocks in general to have a positive day today.

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