Enzo Biochem Inc. stock (AMEX:ENZ) has gained 115 percentsince Monday's annual shareholders meeting, closing up $1.25at $7 on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Elazar Rabbani, president, reiterated theimportance Enzo attached to winning an antisense patentinterference case last October, according to spokeswoman CarolDempster. The Farmingdale, N.Y., company is developing anumber of anti-viral applications using antisense, including amethod of inhibiting acute HIV infection in lymphoid cells.

The interference between the State University of New York andthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology involved geneticantisensing technology. Conventional antisense approaches useoligonucleotides to block gene expression. The SUNY approach,licensed exclusively to Enzo, inserts genes into cells toaccomplish the antisensing.

Dempster said company officials also emphasized that if bondholders agree at the end of this month to Enzo's proposed bondrestructuring, the company would be almost debt-free andwould increase its net worth by $33 million.

Vestar Inc. shares (NASDAQ:VSTR) rose $3 to $23 after thecompany said it estimated a net loss of $1 million, or 17 centsper share, on revenues of $15 million for the year ended Dec.31. In 1990, the company had a net loss of $7.7 million, or$1.23 per share, on revenues of $4.5 million. The San Dimas,Calif., company said the revenue growth reflected increasedacceptance in the European medical community of AmBisomeliposomal amphotericin B to treat severe fungal infections.

Biogen Inc. stock (NASDAQ:BGEN) lost $1.75, closing at $40.50,after Smith Barney analyst Denise Gilbert lowered her rating to"hold" from "buy." The Cambridge, Mass., company has said thatdue to clinical trial expenses, it won't report a significantincrease in earnings year-to-year until its first self-marketedproduct, Hirulog, reaches market in 1994-95. Gilbert loweredher price target to $42 from $48 and lowered her 1992earnings per share estimate to 25 cents from 60 cents.

Gilbert also lowered her 1992 earnings estimate for ImmunexCorp. (NASDAQ:IMNX) to 35 cents from 80 cents. At a recentmeeting, management told her that the company didn't expectsignificant growth in near-term earnings due to moreaggressive clinical trial expenses. She continues to rate thestock a "hold." Immunex shares rose $1.25 to $63.25.

Other companies that have recently said they will increase R&Dspending and sacrifice near-term earnings in exchange forlong-term growth include Genetics Institute Inc.(NASDAQ:GENI) and Genentech Inc. (NYSE:GNE).

Shares of Ribi ImmunoChem Research Inc. gained $1.38 to$12.13 after the Hamilton, Mont., company (NASDAQ:RIBI) saidit will begin this year Phase I trials of its MPLimmunostimulant to ameliorate cardiac reperfusion injury oncepreclinical safety studies have been completed. -- KB

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.