After jumping more than 35 percent in the previous twosessions, stock of The Liposome Co. fell 88 cents on Thursday,closing at $11.50. The stock's rise came after Hambrecht &Quist analyst D. Larry Smith recommended more aggressivebuying of the Princeton, N.J., company's shares (NASDAQ:LIPO).
He based his recommendation on data the company will presentat the International Conference on Antibiotics andAntimicrobial Therapy in Chicago from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
One abstract will present results of Phase II trials comparingthe company's liposomal formulation of amphotericin B anti-fungal compound (TLC ABLC) with free amphotericin B in AIDSpatients with cryptococcal meningitis. Ten of 13 patientsgiven TLC ABLC showed no culturable crytococcus organismsafter treatment, while only one of eight patients given freeamphotericin B responded.
In comparison, Pfizer's Diflucan anti-fungal agent eliminatesthe organism 34 percent of the time. Smith said he expects thetwo compounds to be used together, since TLC ABLC must bedelivered intravenously and Diflucan can be given orally on anoutpatient basis.
The second abstract will summarize a Phase II study of TLCABLC in patients with coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever.Seven of 11 patients in that study achieved remission.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, which is developing TLC ABLC, isconducting Phase III trials and has said it expects the drug tocome to market in 1994 at the earliest. But Smith speculatedthat pressure from AIDS activists could lead to marketingapproval as early as late 1992.
Smith estimated that The Liposome Company's royalties on TLCABLC could be $10 million to $20 million, or 35 cents to 70cents per share.
In other stock movements, Somatogen Inc. (NASDAQ:SMTG)gained another $3.50 on Thursday, closing at $36, afterjumping $4.25 on Wednesday. The rise has apparently beencaused by a presentation at last week's Symposium on BloodSubstitutes in Montreal, the company said. Somatogencompleted an initial public offering at $19 a share earlier thismonth.
Shares of MedImmune Inc. (NASDAQ:MEDI) gained $2.75 to closeat $27. The stock rose $2.25 on Wednesday after Smith Barneyanalyst Denise Gilbert initiated coverage of the Gaithersburg,Md., company with a "buy" rating. MedImmune, which isdeveloping humanized monoclonal antibodies and vaccines tostimulate cell-mediated immunity, went public in May at $9.25a share. -- Karen Bernstein
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