Protein Design Labs
leads the early list of losers, while
have reasons to be happy at this year's annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
The confab, which began Friday and runs through Tuesday, is one of the most closely watched medical meetings of the year.
Early Monday, shares of Protein Design Labs fell $5.37, or 14%, to $32.58 after the biotech firm said its experimental cancer drug had little or no positive effect on patients suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
This is the second setback for Protein Design Labs at the ASH meeting. Friday, the company reported
mixed-to-bad results for Zamyl, another experimental cancer drug.
PDL is in the midst of a 60-patient, midstage test of Remitogen on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who failed other treatment options. Monday, the company said an interim look at 25 of these patients showed only one partial response to Remitogen and no complete responses. The disease was neither better nor worse in 10 patients, but 14 other patients became sicker.
Due to the poor results, company executives said they are retooling the study's protocol to see whether changes in Remitogen's dosing schedule improve the drug's performance.
Biotech mavens were looking for Genentech and Idec Pharmaceuticals to have a strong showing at ASH because of Rituxan, the companies' blockbuster non-Hodgkin's lymphoma drug.
Monday, the companies delivered on expectations, releasing positive results from a long-term study evaluating the use of Rituxan with traditional chemotherapy drugs. After two years, patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma taking the combination therapy showed a 23% increase in overall survival compared with patients taking chemo drugs alone. Also, a similar study in patients with indolent, or slow-growing, form of the disease also showed a majority of patients remained in remission for at least four years and up to seven years.
Later today, Genentech and Idec will release results of studies looking at Rituxan use in other diseases like chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Taken together, the findings are expected to prime the pump for expanded use of the drug.
Shares of Genentech fell 19 cents to $56.51 in recent trading. Shares of Idec dropped 80 cents to $67.95.
is also expected to take the wraps off positive partial results for its cancer drug LDP-341, which is being developed as treatment for multiple myeloma. At a meeting held Friday, a researcher spilled the beans early, telling Wall Street analysts that 54% of 93 patients treated with LDP-341 in a midstage test had a 54% partial-response rate. The full results of the test on a total of 200 patients will be available next year.
Shares of Millennium were up 85 cents, or 3%, to $29.26.
But shares of
Human Genome Sciences
fell $1.18, or 3%, to $34.91 Monday as the company continues to deal with the backlash from
poor results for its wound-healing drug, Repifermin, released Friday.