Shares of Targanta surge on positive FDA review
Shares of biotechnology company Targanta Therapeutics Inc. surged today after federal regulators posted a favorable review of the company's antibiotic, ahead of a meeting to assess the product later this week.
Targanta shares advanced $2.62, or 40.1 percent, to $9.03 in midday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The Cambridge-based company asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve oritavancin for use against serious skin infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The FDA will ask a panel of outside experts to weigh in on the antibiotic at a meeting Wednesday. The agency is not required to follow the advice of its panels, though it usually does.
In documents posted online today, FDA reviewers said two patient studies of oritavancin met their goal: showing similar effectiveness to the powerful antibiotic vancomycin, currently the strongest bacteria-killing drug on the market.
The FDA said it would ask its panelists whether the company's studies demonstrate the safety and effecitveness of oritavancin against skin infections.
Lazard Capital Markets analyst Joel Sendek recently reaffirmed a "Buy" rating on Targanta and said he expects U.S. approval and launch of the drug during the first quarter 2009.
Sales could reach $28.6 million in 2009, he said, jumping to $89.4 million in 2010 and $184.5 million in 2011. (AP)