CYTOGEN, LYPHOMED, K-V AND ARBOR ARE LEADERS ON HOT JULY OTC INDEX
Cytogen's (up 2-3/8 to 6-5/8) continued progress with OncoScint and a commitment to research on "transomic" mice helped light a fire under the firm's stock during the month of July. During the month, Cytogen reported that it had completed Phase III study of its colorectal imaging agent OncoScint and expects to file a PLA in the fall. In addition, Cytogen held a press conference in Philadelphia highlighting the company's work on transomic mice, which, through genetic engineering, contain fragmented human chromosomes ("The Pink Sheet" July 31, T&G-12). * Advances outnumber declines by nearly two-to-one on the "F-D-C" OTC Index as 35 stocks gained, 16 lost ground, and 7 remained unchanged. Although the Index was ahead 6.5%, it underperformed the Dow Jones Industrials, which rose 9%, and the S&P 400, which advanced 8.9%. Rebounding from a June drop of 4-3/8, Lyphomed jumped 30.8% (5-1/8 to close at 21-3/4). Investor uncertainty over potential competition for aerosol pentamidine from Fisons may have contributed to the stock's June decline. However,the Fisons approval now appears to be significantly delayed by FDA's request several months ago for additional data. Other biotechs with positive July moves include: Cetus (up 2-1/8 to 16-7/8); Enzo Biochem (up 1-1/8 to 4-3/4); Immunex (up 2-1/8 to 13-3/4); Biogen (up 1-3/8 to 12-3/4); Synergen (up 7/8 to 8-3/8); and Xoma and Centocor, which each gained 1-3/4 to close July at 18-3/4. Cetus got a boost from its marketing partnership with Ben Venue for generic doxorubicin, and recent IL-2 approvals in the Netherlands and Denmark. Immunex stock rose on mid-month news that its IL-1 wound healing gel would begin Phase I trials in August, and a report of positive results from Phase I/II GM-CSF white cell growth factor studies in bone marrow transplant patients. Xoma continues to feel the positive effects of recent publicity surrounding its Xomazyme H-65 in a small-scale study on arthritis patients. Biogen and Centocor have been assured continued funding for R&D through recent public offerings. The biotechs as a group appear to have benefited from Amgen's recent approval of recombinant erythropoietin. The drug delivery firm K-V had the biggest percentage increase in July, after Cytogen, among pharmaceutical issues tracked by the F-D-C monthly Index, jumping 37.9% (up 4-1/8) to a July close of 15. A spokesperson attributed the rise to a sharp jump in purchasing activity by institutional investors and mutual funds triggered by the release about two weeks ago of a very positive FY 1989 annual report. Arbor Drugs spiraled up 46% in July, closing ahead 7-1/4 to 23. The Troy, Michigan-based chain pushed the three-company chain component of the F-D-C Index up 21.2%. By comparison, Medicine Shoppe jumped 3-3/4 to 31 while Big B dropped 1/2 to 12-7/8. Arbor Drugs, with 87 outlets for the fiscal year just ended July 31, received a positive boost in early July from Value Line, which highlighted the stock in its weekly Selection & Opinion section as a top-rated buy. Chart omitted.
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