The Salomon Bio Investment and Leadership Conference pulled together 150+ C-level executives in the healthcare, bio tech and pharma sectors. The event took place at The Convene Center, 101 Park Avenue in New York City, November 16th 2015. Attendees included private investors, buy/sell side analyst, family offices and institutional investment houses. Ari Zoldan from Quantum Media Group Moderated a panel on "Creating Value for Small Cap investors". Panelist included, Mr. Stu Barich from Raymond James, Ms. Barbara Doran from Lebenthal and Mr. Keay Nakae from Chardan Capital.
1. Inovio focuses on immunotherapies for an array of cancers and infectious diseases. The core technology uses DNA encoded for a biologic target. This method, in essence, creates a natural medicine in the body. Inovio's goal is to inject a piece of DNA into the cells of a diseased body, which in return will cause the cells to focus on the encoded biologic target. This process will allow the body to produce agents for therapeutic and preventative capabilities. While other companies are currently working with invasive surgical solutions, Inovio is one of the few companies that is successfully developing a non-surgical approach to treating this disease. Inovio, is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Dr. David Weiner, a leading expert in the field of DNA vaccines, and Joseph Kim started the company in 2000. With 150 employees, Inovio has uniquely continued the fight against several cancers and infectious diseases including HIV, HPV, and Hepatitis.
2. Immune Pharma (IMNP) a clinical stage biotechnology company with two ongoing Phase 2 studies focused on targeted therapies; helping patients with inflammatory disease. Today, the other Phase 2 indication for Bertilimumab in ulcerative colitis (UC), Immune announced the enrollment of its first patient in Ulcerative Colitis. The recent acquisition of Receptos' Phase 2 product by Celgene for $7.2BN following successful Phase 2 UC results. The inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) market is expected to exceed $14BN by 2019 including $10BN in biologics like Bertilimumab. Other Indications for Bertilimumab, is atopic dermatitis (moderate to severe patients), effecting 1 million adult patients in the USA. The target, Eotaxin-1 is validated by the clinical development of Regeneron's dupilumab which also targets eotaxin-1. Eotaxin-1 is a key regulator of immuno-inflammation and supported in over 1500 papers. The Company is significantly undervalued considering its expansive pipeline and products for such a young company. Research analysts who cover Immune Pharmaceuticals at Chardan, Roth Capital and FBR&CO have recently put near-term targets for the stock between $6-$7.
3. Asterias - Asterias is a biotherapeudic company with an emphasis on spinal cord injuries, cancer and regenerative medicine. Asterias is now entering phase two in their process of research and solutions. The company's therapeutics are based on two different technologies; pluripotent stem cells and dendritic cell cancer immunotherapy. Pluripotent stem cells help in the process of regenerative medicine. These cells are able to take on many forms, which allows the body to help regenerate the parts needed in or on our body. The Asteria immunotherapy method aids patients in the area of cancer. Asterias's research in this subject has led to an achievement of a 58% relapse-free remission rate. The associates at Asteria have wide ranging experience in these areas and are all confident that the therapies mentioned hold great opportunity for the upcoming future. "Every new occurrence in our research is always at least three years ahead of others," said CEO of Asterias, Pedro Lichtinger.
Cardiovascular disease is still a disease that needs more medical attention and Cerenis is trying to change that. French based, Cerenis, is well on their way to dominating the market with their revolutionizing product. Their products are developed based on HDL, High Density Lipoprotein, also known as the "good cholesterol". HDL is the mediator for the reverse lipid transport, which is the only natural mechanism to eliminate lipids, also known as fats, out of the body. HDL is essentially a "garbage truck", which aids in the process of transportation of lipids and cholesterol out of the tissues. After it is transported out, it is brought back to the liver which then secretes the cholesterol and lipids into the bowel and then eliminated as feces. Cerenis believes that the more HDL administered the more cholesterol is eliminated. Ultimately, this can help to eradicate cardiovascular disease. "We are the draino of the arteries," said CEO and founder Jean-Louis Dasseux.
Arch Therapeutics, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, develops novel products for the wound care space, specifically to prevent excessive bleeding in humans. Arch's technology helps to prevent bleeding in a healthier and safer way than most modern methods."Over seven million people over the age of 65 are on antithrombotics [a type of blood thinner]," said Dr. Terrance Norchi, CEO and director of Arch Therapeutics. When the body clots in the wrong places, medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes can occur. For example, when a person is taking blood thinners and goes into surgery, they have a large risk of excessive bleeding in the operating room. The Arch technology uses self-assembling peptides which effectively stop bleeding.
**DISCLOSURE: I OWN STOCK IN IMMUNE PHARMA (IMNP)