On the Move?

Making headlines in the biotech world are Chiron/NASDAQ: CHIR which is a targeted by Novartis to become a buyout candidate and Protein Design Labs/NASDAQ: PDLI, who recently announced its heart drug ularitide may work better and have fewer safety concerns than an existing treatment. As a result, both companies' share prices had a nice gain.

On our radar screen is Atherogenics/NASDAQ: AGIX and its cardiovascular drug AGI-1067, which has the potential to treat coronary artery disease, a leading killer in the U.S., causing a million deaths every year. Given the frequency and seriousness of coronary artery disease, and the risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, and diabetes, which all lead to inflammation in the arteries; a treatment aimed at reducing inflammation would be very valuable. Inflammation is believed to be responsible for the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, and AGI-1067 is designed to block the inflammatory process.

The company expects to submit the final CART-2 data with AGI-1067 to a peer-review journal this year. However, publication will not occur until the end of 2005 or early 2006. The CART-2 data will provide a comprehensive look at AGI-1067's Phase II results, including safety and impact on cholesterol and other inflammation factors in coronary artery disease. This could provide critical validation for AGI-1067 and credibility for management.

Meanwhile, the ARISE trial appears to be on track with the release of data expected in the second quarter of 2006. The results of the ARISE trial should determine whether or not AGI-1067 reaches the market. The ARISE trial seeks to show an improvement in-patient outcome as measured by cardiovascular events (number of deaths, heart attack, stroke and angina) vs. CART-2, which is designed to show a reduction in plaque volume. Thus, the ARISE trial has a higher hurdle to clear than CART-2. If the ARISE trial is successful, expect blockbuster potential for AGI-1067 since the strategy is to use the drug as a chronic therapy in combination with standard of care therapies, such as statins.

In our opinion, Atherogenics is a gamble, but if AGI-1067 can hit its clinical endpoints, it could be worth the risk. Remember, all of Atherogenics' fortune is tied to AGI-1067 and with positive data its share price could increase significantly. In the interim, Atherogenics needs to sign a partnership to prepare for AGI-1067 commercialization.


Information transmitted via BioSpace.com has been provided by publisher, Nadine Wong, of the "Biotech Sage Report" Investment Newsletter and all comments and opinions are solely those of Nadine Wong. Information provided is not guaranteed as to completeness or accuracy by Nadine Wong (the "Biotech Sage Report" publisher), BioSpace, Inc., or any person. Such Information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy the securities of any company. The security portfolio of the editor of this newsletter, our employees, principals or affiliated companies may, in some instances, include securities and/or options on securities mentioned in each issue. Additional information is available upon request. Information in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy, completeness and interpretation are not guaranteed. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. The Information and views provided by the "Biotech Sage Report" Newsletter are prepared by Nadine Wong, and in no way reflect the views or efforts of BioSpace, Inc., any of BioSpace's employees or officers. BioSpace, and BioSpace's employees and officers, as well as (www.biotechnav.com) Wong & Wong, Inc, and Wong & Wong Inc.'s employees and officers, in no way accept responsibility for any of the Newsletter's content.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the Information contained herein is presented in good faith, and is not untrue or misleading at the time of publication, BioSpace, Inc. and Nadine Wong make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness and it should not be relied upon as such. The Information is supplied on the condition that the reader or any other person receiving the Information will make his or her own determination as to its suitability for any purpose prior to any use of the Information. From time to time, BioSpace, Inc. and any officers or employees of BioSpace, Inc., as well as Nadine Wong and or (www.biotechnav.com) Wong & Wong, Inc., and any officers or employees of Wong & Wong, Inc., may, to the extent permitted by law, have a position or otherwise be interested in any transactions, in any investments (including derivatives) directly or indirectly in the subject of this report. Also BioSpace, Inc. and (www.biotechnav.com) Wong & Wong, Inc., may, from time to time solicit business from any company mentioned in this report. This report is provided solely for the information of viewers of BioSpace.com and/or viewers and subscribers of the Newsletters, who are expected to make their own investment decisions without reliance on this report. Neither BioSpace, Inc. nor any officer or employee of BioSpace, Inc., nor Nadine Wong or (www.biotechnav.com) Wong & Wong, Inc., or any officer or employee of Wong & Wong, Inc., accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages or loss arising from any use of this report or their contents. This report may not be reproduced, distributed or published by any recipient for any purpose without the prior express consent of the publishers. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel or otherwise any license or right under any patent, trademark or copyright of BioSpace.com, Nadine Wong or (www.biotechnav.com) Wong & Wong, Inc., or any third party.

The value of the investment(s) to which this report relates and their income yield(s) may go up or down. The investment(s) referred to in this report may not be suitable for private investors: if you are in any doubt you should seek advice from your investment advisor. Changes in rates of currency exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of investments. Statements as to past performance of any investment are not a guide to future performance. The levels and bases of taxation can change, and if you are in doubt you should seek independent professional advice. In some cases it may be difficult for you to sell or realize your investment or to obtain reliable information about its value or the extent of the risks to which you are exposed.


Back to news