Vestar Inc.'s liposome version of an anti-fungal drug hasreceived marketing approval in the United Kingdom, and thecompany's British subsidiary will begin productionimmediately, the company announced Wednesday.
Analyst David Webber of Alex. Brown & Sons upgraded hisrecommendation of the San Dimas, Calif., company to a "strongbuy" based on the announcement.
The stock (NASDAQ:VSTR) jumped $4.25 to $16.
Amphotericin B is the most commonly used drug for bodywidefungal infections, which can arise in patients givenchemotherapy, organ transplants or who have AIDS. Thetoxicity of the drug often limits its use. Liposome deliveryincreases the safety margin.
The company's liposomal formulation is approved in Irelandand Mexico, and Vestar sells the product in 13 Europeancountries on a compassionate, named-patient basis.
Revenues from the first nine months of this year were $9.3million. In his report, Webber raised his earnings estimate fornext year to $32 million from $27 million, and for 1993 to $45million from $38 million.
Webber wrote that the package insert approved by the Britishhealth agency suggests that the liposome formulation will beused as first-line therapy, even when suspected fungalinfections have not yet been confirmed. -- RF
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