Monday, May 24, 1999
By Eric Pierce
& Shaun Brown
Investors yawned at last week's barrage of data from three key scientific conferences, which included the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, the Digestive Disease Week meeting and the American Society of Transplantation meeting.
The ho hum response might have been expected, since even though many of the reports were from late-stage trials, many of the presentations were preliminary data, or data from marketed products, or expanded reports on previously reported data. Thus unlike some years, there were no highly anticipated events.
"Last year we had Genentech's Herceptin data," noted Hambrecht & Quist analyst Alex Zisson. "Most of the data this year was incremental - what moves stocks is pivotal data."
Vector Securities analyst Robert Toth noted that investors also are becoming more sophisticated when looking at data. "Consequently, there's been a raising of the bar as to who has been getting pops off early data," he said.
Indeed, of the 47 publicly held companies tracked by Ebb & Flow that presented clinical data at the meetings, only 16 were up on the week, while 28 (60 percent) were down, and 3 were unchanged. The BioCentury 100 index also did not react, edging down 1 percent on the week.
Biopure, a blood products company developing intravenous oxygen therapeutics to increase oxygen delivery to tissues, announced plans to sell an IPO through J.P. Morgan, Adams, Harkness & Hill, and Robert W. Baird. The company's $86.25 million target was estimated for purposes of calculating the SEC registration fee. The company's Oxyglobin hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier was launched last year to treat anemia in dogs and Hemopure, a hemoglobin-based oxygen therapeutic for use in humans, is in Phase III testing.