Ebb & Flow
A pair of high-profile setbacks among two of Germany's late-stage biotech companies has left the country's biotech industry with only a handful of Phase III products. Thus, investors are starting to view the German landscape as a Phase II play. The good news is that at least seven companies have Phase II products, including therapeutics that address large markets such as insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
The first major summer setback came in June, when Paion (FSE:PA8) plunged E6.26 (64%) to E3.54 on June 1 on news that its desmoteplase missed the primary endpoint in a Phase III trial to treat acute ischemic stroke.Then in July, GPC Biotech (FSE:GPC; GPCB) lost more than two-thirds of its market cap following the release of bearish FDA briefing documents and a negative FDA panel for the company's Orplatna satraplatin to treat prostate cancer.
Given the sudden dearth of late-stage investment opportunities, Adamant Biomedical Investments portfolio manager Nick Draeger told Ebb & Flow that "there's not a heck of a lot in Germany at the moment" (see "Potential Phase III Leadership").
Indeed, investors seem to have soured on the German therapeutic developers, as the basket of companies is down about 8% since July 20. Backing out Paion and GPC, the group of German therapeutic stories is still down 5% on average. In contrast, the BioCentury 100 Index is flat over that time.
Nevertheless, Draeger isn't abandoning the region, and said his firm has positions in Evotec (FSE:EVT) and Wilex (FSE:WL6).