Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Eli Lilly reported positive results from a phase III trial of Cymbalta (duloxetine) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Cymbalta is Lilly’s serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), approved in the U.S. for major depression and diabetic (peripheral neuropathic) pain. Merrill Lynch has forecasted the product could reach worldwide sales of $2.2 billion in 2008.
The Boston-based contract research organization (CRO) Averion International reported a net operating loss of $577,253 for the second quarter of 2007 on total revenues of $9.81 million. That compared to a loss of $912,140 during the same period last year from just $4.92 million in revenue. For the first half of the year – ending June 30th of 2007 – Averion reported $19.1 million in revenue and a net loss of $2.47 million compared with $9.88 million in revenue and a net loss of $1.94 million during the same period in 2006.
UCB and Immunomedics reported positive results from a follow-up phase I/II trial of epratuzumab for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Phase I of the trial enrolled 12 subjects with SLE and analyzed the effect of epratuzumab on circulatory B-cell subsets. Results showed that epratuzumab preferentially targets naive and transitional B-cells.
Datatrak, an electronic data capture company, reported its second quarter revenue slumped 37% to $3.07 million and a net loss of $2.97 million or $0.22 per share on a basic and diluted basis. These results compared with revenue of $4.83 million and a net loss of $702,000, or $0.06 per share basic and diluted basis, in the second quarter of 2006. Datatrak laid off 17 employees in the second quarter, recording severance charges totaling $337,000.
Venture Philanthropy on the Rise
Venture philanthropy is a term coined in the past few years to describe the funding that disease foundations provide to biopharmaceutical companies to research potential drugs and therapies in their respective diseases. Investment by U.S. disease foundations in the biopharmaceutical industry this year will be about $75 million—10 times as much as its investment in 2000, according to CenterWatch estimates.