NantKwest Turning Heads, AUTL To Report Data In Dec., PTLA Marches Ahead

The following are some of today’s top gainers in the pharma/biotech sector.

1. NantKwest Inc. (NK)

Gained 37.27% to close Thursday’s (Nov.8) trading at $3.72.

News: The Company announced promising first in human data in advanced solid tumors of NANT Cancer Vaccine.

The NANT Cancer Vaccine is the first simultaneous combination of off the shelf Natural Killer Cells (NK) with endogenous adaptive dendritic, T cell and NK cell activation. The vaccine is intended to induce cancer cell death and at the same time protect and enhance a patient’s immune response against cancer cells with lower toxicity and higher efficacy in comparison with current standards of care.

According to the Company, the NANT Cancer Vaccine demonstrated a disease control of 80% in highly refractory late-stage (4th Line or Greater) advanced metastatic triple negative breast cancer; 90% disease control with median overall survival of 9.5 months in highly refractory late-stage advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer (3rd Line or greater), and 67% disease control with a complete response in one patient in highly refractory patients with advanced metastatic head and neck cancer.

2. Lannett Company Inc. (LCI)

Gained 35.81% to close Thursday’s trading at $5.84.

News: The Company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for fiscal 2019 first quarter, and boosted its revenue outlook for the year.

For the fiscal 2019 first quarter, adjusted net income was $16.9 million or $0.44 per share on revenue of $155.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the Company to earn $0.39 per share on revenue of $155 million.

The adjusted net income was $22.7 million or $0.60 per share, and revenue was $155 million for the fiscal 2018 first quarter.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, the Company now expects net sales for the year to range between $585 million to $615 million, up from its prior forecast range of $580 million to $610 million. Analysts are expecting revenue of $591.62 million for the year.

3. Autolus Therapeutics plc (AUTL)

Gained 24.65% to close Thursday’s trading at $38.89.

Autolus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies.

News: No news

Recent event:

— On June 22, 2018, the Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, offering its American Depositary Shares at a price of $17.00 per ADS.

Pipeline:

— AUTO1, under a phase I trial in patients with pediatric relapsed or refractory acute B lymphocytic leukemia, or pediatric ALL, and a phase I clinical trial in adult patients with ALL.
— AUTO2, under a phase I/II clinical trial in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
— AUTO3, under phase I/II clinical trial in pediatric or young adult patients with relapsed or refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (AMELIA), and under phase I/II clinical trial in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ALEXANDER).
— AUTO4 under phase I/II clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory TRBC1 positive selected T-Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
— AUTO5 in preclinical development.

Near-term Catalysts:

— Present data from the ALEXANDER Study on December 1, 2018.
— Present data from the AMELIA Study on December 2, 2018.

4. Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. (AST)

Gained 24.53% to close Thursday’s trading at $1.32.

News: The Company is all set to merge with BioTime Inc. (BTX), whereby BioTime will acquire all of the remaining outstanding common stock of Asterias not currently owned by it.

Asterias stockholders will receive 0.71 shares of BioTime common shares for every share of Asterias common stock and will own approximately 16.2% of the combined company. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

5. Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PTLA)

Gained 21.41% to close Thursday’s trading at $23.14.

News: The Company reported a narrower loss on higher revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2018.

For the third quarter of 2018, net loss shrunk to $71.3 million or $1.08 per share from $82.9 million or $1.41 per share for the same period in 2017. Total revenue for the third quarter of 2018 climbed to $14.2 million from $3.8 million for the third quarter of 2017.

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