EntreMed shares increase by 28% Price linked to report in journal on protein shrinking mice tumors

Stocks

November 29, 1997|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Shares of EntreMed Inc. jumped 28 percent yesterday after the publication of a study in the journal Nature that reported that a protein for which the Rockville biotechnology company owns licensing rights shrank tumors in mice.

EntreMed stock closed at $15.25, up $3.375 for the day. Volume was 554,000 shares, more than 10 times average daily volume for the past six months.

The study, by Dr. M. Judah Folkman of Children's hospital in Boston, found that a protein called Endostatin was able to shrink three types of mouse tumors until they were invisible or barely visible. The tumors did not recur in mice who received several cycles of treatment, the article said.

EntreMed owns worldwide licensing rights to Endostatin, having acquired them in a sponsored research agreement with Folkman.

Folkman and EntreMed have been working on treating cancer by finding drugs that prevent the formation of new blood vessels feeding a tumor, thus stopping the tumor from growing. The growth of the blood vessels is called angiogenesis, so the therapies are called antiangiogensis.

John W. Holaday, president and chief executive officer of EntreMed, said, "We are extremely excited about the promise of Endostatin protein and other antiangiogenic therapies holds in the future of cancer care and are aggressively continuing our focus in this area, helping expedite their commercialization."

One drug that EntreMed is studying is Thalidomide, which was banned as a sedative in the 1950s because it caused birth defects when taken during pregnancy.

Folkman reasoned that since it had caused the birth defects by inhibiting blood vessel development in the fetus, it was a potential cancer drug.

EntreMed has a contract with the drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb to test Thalidomide for such uses.

The company also is working with three other drugs that block blood vessel development -- Endostatin, Angiostatin (also isolated by Folkman) and 2-Methoxyestradiol.

EntreMed's stock had been trading in the $10 range for several months, although it was as high as $18.25 in January.

EntreMed's initial public offering was at $15 a share in June 1996.

Pub Date: 11/29/97

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