Nicox shares soar on Zerviate OK; Gemphire CEO resigns; Array, Ono team up on a $187M deal

→  Nicox’s Zerviate received FDA approval today and $COX stocks have soared in response to the announcement. The company previously ran into trouble when a drug it out-licensed to Bausch + Lomb was delayed due to inadequacies at the company’s manufacturing facility. “Receiving approval from the U.S. FDA for Zerviate is a huge milestone for Nicox and partnering discussions are underway for U.S. commercialization rights,” commented Michele Garufi, the CEO of Nicox. Shares are up more than 20%.

→  Mina Sooch has resigned as president, CEO, and director of Gemphire, citing “personal reasons.” The company has struggled financially and its drug candidate, gemcabene, in-licensed from Pfizer, has experienced roadblocks that are preventing it from being developed. Pfizer has the right to get the drug back if Gemphire does not succeed in commercializing it. Board member Dr. Steven Gullans will fill the role of president and CEO until the company finds a replacement.

→  Array $ARRY and Ono teamed up with a license, development an commercialization deal for two novel oncology compounds: binimetinib and encorafenib. Both drugs are currently in phase III trials. Array gets $31.6 million up front and up to $156 million in milestones. Ono now has the rights to develop and commercialize the drugs in Japan and South Korea, while Array continues to do so in the US, Canada, and Israel.

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