Harriet Lefton

About the Author Harriet Lefton

Harriet originates from the UK where she worked as a journalist specializing in the metal markets. She graduated from the University of Cambridge before becoming a qualified UK lawyer.

Tuesday’s Market Insights: Pulmatrix Inc (PULM), Pain Therapeutics, Inc. (PTIE), Versar Inc. (VSR)

Pulmatrix Inc (NASDAQ:PULM) shares are soaring 40% in today’s trading on the announcement that the company has received a crucial patent from the European Union (EU). Pulmatrix has already received similar patents for its innovative drug delivery technology in the US and Japan.

According to Pulmatrix traditional drug delivery methods can result in drugs getting stuck in the throat or mouth causing side effects. Pulmatrix uses dry powders to deliver drugs so that they essentially “fly” into the lungs, which means that larger doses and mix of drugs can be delivered at once. The delivery method is designed to treat serious lung disease such as severe asthmatics.

“This new patent shows our continued ability to obtain patents that protect our unique iSPERSE inhaled drug technology—and that also reflect the advances we are making in drug delivery,” said CEO Robert W Clarke. “It gives us a strong intellectual property protection position in Europe as we move forward with our drug candidates for COPD, fungal infections, and other diseases.”

Pain Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTIE) shares are up by 45% in Tuesday’s trading on the news that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given positive regulatory guidance for PTIE’s lead drug candidate Remoxy ER, an oral gel that helps with severe pain management.

The update follows a meeting between Pain Therapeutics and the FDA on February 13 2017. While there were no development concerns about the drug, the FDA requires further assessment into potential abuse of the drug before Pain Therapeutics can resubmit the new drug application (NDA) with an anticipated Priority Review status.

The extra assessment is expected to cost Pain Therapeutics around $3 to 4 million and will assess clinical abuse potential via the intranasal route of abuse, and an assessment of a non-clinical abuse potential using household solvents. The company says that the gel formulation deters abuse.

One opioid-based painkillers already on the market is Arymo ER from Egalet Corp (EGLT) while Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) and Intellipharmaceutics International (IPCI) are also developing painkillers which are in the late trial stages.

Versar Inc. (NYSEMKT:VSR) shares are spiking by 37% in Tusday’s trading following the announcement that the project management company has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the US Airforce worth up to $950 million.

Specifically, the engineering and construction contract has been awarded to Versar’s joint venture with Johnson Controls Federal Systems (JCFS). According to the press release, the contract ceiling is $950 million over a five-year base period with three additional one-year option periods.

The contract will involve tasks both inside and outside the US as well as in remote and high risk areas and will include tasks such as airfield paving projects, and renovation of historic structures as well as building projects with specific anti-terrorism requirements.

Versar CEO Tony Otten commented: “Coupled with our portfolio of engineering and environmental contracts, Versar is uniquely positioned to support the Air Force across their entire asset management program.”



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