Durect - Best Pharma Stocks of 2007

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Company: Durect
Starting stock price: $4.39
Ending stock price: $6.43
Percent Change: 46.47%

Details: With five candidates in its pipeline, Durect posted a lot of news in 2007. In January, it amended its licensing agreement with Voyager Pharmaceutical, providing cash and debt forgiveness in return for a doubling of royalties if and when its Memryte Alzheimer’s treatment is commercialized. Also early in the year, Durect made deals with two contract manufacturers for its Posidur pain management drug and its Transdur pain patch.

By May, Durect announced that partner Voyager had determined that Memryte had shown efficacy against Alzheimer’s in women but not in men, and refocused it program on treating women only. In June, Endo Pharmaceuticals signed on to use Durect’s Transdur delivery technology in a phase II trial. In July, the company’s licensee Pain Therapeutics finished recruiting patients for a phase III trial of Remoxy, a pain drug designed to deter dependence and abuse. Also in July, Durect got an $8 million milestone payment from Nycomed as a Phase IIb trial of Posidur showed positive results.

Then, toward year’s end, the company got a double dose of good news. A phase III trial of the Remoxy pain drug met its primary endpoint; licensee Pain Therapeutics said it plans to file a New Drug Application for Remoxy in the second quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, the company’s Eladur pain patch showed positive results in a phase IIa trial; detailed data from that study is expected to be presented at the American Pain Society meeting in May 2008.

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