Investors on Friday dumped shares of West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. after an independent analysis said an experimental lung cancer drug is unlikely to be declared superior to existing chemotherapy. But two analysts say, to the contrary, the analysis shows the prospects for Endocyte’s drug are as good as ever.
In this age of austerity, there’s almost no chance of Indianapolis hospitals creating a Cleveland Clinic-like hub of innovation.
IBJ convened a panel of experts at its Life Sciences Power Breakfast on May 10 to talk about the industry issues of venture capital, digital health innovations and research university entrepreneurship.
Panel members included Kristin Eilenberg, CEO, Lodestone Logic, Infuse Accelerator; Philip S. Low, Purdue University professor of chemistry, founder and chief science officer at Endocyte Inc. and On Target Laboratories LLC; R. Matthew Neff, president, CHV Capital Inc.; Brian Stemme, project director; BioCrossroads; Brian S. Williams, director, Global Healthcare Strategy, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd.; and Raul Zaveleta, CEO, Indigo BioSystems Inc.
The following is an unedited transcript of the discussion.
Mike Sherman, the chief financial officer at West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc., talked about how the drug firm’s funding partnership with New Jersey-based Merck & Co. Inc. has helped accelerate development of the company’s pipeline, which is branching out into drugs to treat cancers of the lung, prostate and breast.
Endocyte Inc. saw its shares fall nearly 7 percent Tuesday morning after the drug development firm announced that its application for U.S. approval of a cancer drug could be delayed another 10 months.
Endocyte Inc. will submit its ovarian cancer drug EC145 for European market approval in the third quarter of this year after the European Commission granted it orphan drug status.
After spending most of 2011 as a Wall Street darling, the year ended ugly for Endocyte Inc. But CEO Ron Ellis thinks the West Lafayette-based drug developer is in better position than ever.
Endocyte employs 12 people in Indianapolis and plans to add three or four more commercial executives there over the next year and a half as it anticipates approval of its ovarian cancer medication in Europe.
Venture capitalists in Indiana and nationally have thrown money at the company with abandon. Local investors include CID Capital,
Clarian Health Ventures and the Indiana Future Fund.
The uncertainty of health care reform and a bad economy curtailed venture capital flow in 2009.
Purdue University researcher Philip Low, also the chief science officer for West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc., has developed
a prostate cancer “homing device” to help anti-cancer agents specifically target prostate