LIPOSOME TECH's 4-1/2 POINT GAIN RUNS COUNTER TO NOVEMBER's NEGATIVE TREND
Index is published monthly on basis of weighted average from NASDAQ closing bid prices for 55 stocks: 37 Pharmaceuticals, 11 Diversifieds, 3 Drug Chains and 4 Drug & Medical Supply Wholesalers. 1970 Average = 100 H = High for year L = Low R = Revised Liposome Technology's 4-1/2 point gain in November to close at 14-1/2 was a bright point in the month as the biotech stocks were hit hard on Nov. 15 and felt the aftershocks for the rest of November. LTI's stock price was aided by a successful offering of 3 mil. common shares at 9-3/8 that raised over $ 28 mil. after the biotech stock correction. The stock, which had been trading in the $ 5-$ 7 range throughout the summer, closed October at $ 10 a share and continued to trade mostly in the $ 10 range until Friday, Nov. 15. The major market correction in the biotech segment pulled LTI down to 8-7/8, off 2-5/8 for the day. By the end of the first trading day after the Friday correction, LTI stock had recovered to 9-3/4. With the sale of the additional 3 mil. shares, LTI stock took off and maintained the upward trend for the rest of November. LTI's stock rebound and continued upward trend for the rest of November countered the pall that was cast on biotechs and pharmaceutical R&D stocks in the aftermath of the Nov. 15 flameout. LTI's valuation remains relatively small at $ 135.7 mil. and the furthest along of the company's liposome-encapsulated pharmaceuticals are in early clinicals, but the stock nevertheless had some appeal for investors. For example, LTI has a strong patent position for liposomes with enhanced circulation time -- liposomes with PEG-derived lipids that the company has dubbed "Stealth" liposomes. Additionally, the company's lead product Fungizone, a lyophilized colloidal disperson of lipid-complexed amphotericin B for AIDS- related and other fungal infections, has been fairly high-profile. The antifungal is in Phase II for the prophylaxis of coccidiomycosis, cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS patients, candidiasis, aspergillosis, histoplasmosis and blastomycosis infections. LTI has in research CD4 for AIDS that employs a Stealth I.V. formulation. Few biotech stocks came out of November as well as LTI; however, three other pharmaceutical stocks of the 37 tracked by the "F-D-C" O-T-C monthly Index did finish the month with gains of 1 point or more: Viratek also added 4-1/2 points to close at 12- 3/4; Jones Medical added 2-1/8 to close at 7-1/2 and SysteMed (formerly Newport) rose 1-1/4 to 6. Among the diversifieds, Centocor stood out with a 2-3/4 point increase to 49. A total of 12 pharmaceutical stocks on the Index were gainers in November and seven of the 11 diversifieds. No chains had gains and only one of the four OTC wholesalers tracked by "F-D-C," Bindley Western, closed November with a gain. Reflecting the impact of the biotech plunge, the pharmaceutical component of the Index fell 10.4% in November, faring worse than the broader Dow Jones and Standard & Poor indices, which fell 5.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Overall, the Index declined by 3.9%. An 11.7% decline in the wholesaler component and a 6.2% fall by chains was partially compensated for by a 19.1% increase in the index for diversifieds. Chart omitted.
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