Shares of NewLink Genetics Corp. (NLNK) were down 31.3% to $7.30 in premarket trading on Thursday, June 8. The Ames, Iowa-based firm said it was notified on June 6 by Roche Group unit Genentech Inc. that it plans to return the rights to IDO inhibitor GDC-0919 (navoximod) pursuant to a license pact in October 2014.
"We are obviously disappointed in this decision," said NewLink CEO Charles J. Link, Jr., M.D., in a statement. "We remain committed to advancing our IDO pathway inhibitor indoximod, which continues to generate exciting data in combination with anti-PD-1 agents, cancer vaccines, and chemotherapy in multiple cancer types including melanoma, prostate cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and pancreatic cancer."
NewLink and Genentech continue their research collaboration for the discovery of next generation IDO/TDO (tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase) inhibitors.
Meanwhile, shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO) rose 2.8% to $7.60. The Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based firm said June 8 that the Food and Drug Administration has removed the clinical hold on the Phase 3 program for Inovio's VGX-3100, which is being developed for the treatment of cervical dysplasia caused by human papillomavirus. Inovio said it plans to immediately start recruiting patients for the study.
The news came on the heels of Inovio's June 7 announcement regarding its Zika vaccine (GLS-5700). The vaccine "protected against Zika virus-induced damage to testes and sperm, and prevented persistence of the virus in the reproductive tract of all vaccinated male mice challenged with a high dose of the Zika virus," the company said. The preclinical study data was published in Nature Communications.
Other biotech stock movers include Juno Therapeutics Inc. (JUNO) , down 5.1% to $22.51.
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