Osteoporosis spray news and the "Love Vitamin"

I got busy and spent last week away from the blog, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.

In fact, the opposite happened, which is why I didn’t get around to blogging. Bothell’s Nastech and ICOS both were especially busy making news.

Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. made news a few days in a row. First came the news that Procter &Gamble Pharmaceuticals has selected Nastech to exclusively make the anti-osteoporosis nasal spray, PTH1-34, on which the two companies are working.

Since the two are partners, it’s not surprising that Procter &Gamble awarded Nastech with the supply agreement. Still, it’s an important step for Nastech, which plans to make most of PTH1-34, which is still in the clinical trial stage, at its Bothell manufacturing facility.

In February, Procter &Gamble and Nastech teamed up to develop and market the experimental osteoporosis spray in a deal that could eventually bring more than $577 million to Nastech.

Here are some of the coverage about last week’s supply agreement, including The Herald’s story, http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/06/07/100bus_nastech001.cfm, the Associated Press story via MSN, http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=AP&Date=20060606&ID=5774580, and the raw press release, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060606/nytu015.html?.v=49.

On a related note, Nastech reported Thursday that it had received a $7 million payment from Procter &Gamble as part of their partnership. Here’s that story: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060608/nastech_collaboration_payment.html?.v=1.

In between, Nastech also reported last week that it is moving forward with plans to further test its anti-obesity nasal spray. The company submitted a new drug application to the FDA, which allows it to begin testing in earnest in human patients. This drug, PYY, is the one that Merck &Co. dropped out of after saying its own testing showed it might not work. Here are some of the stories about the PYY new drug application, beginning with AP’s version, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060607/nastech_nasal_spray.html?.v=1 or http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8I3GUFG0.htm?sub=apn_home_down&chan=db, along with Pharmaceutical Business Review’s coverage, http://www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/article_news.asp?guid=5D667F6B-358F-4726-80AD-087B6487DA84.

*****

Also last week, ICOS announced new earnings projections and a plan to offer a daily version of Cialis. The Cialis Once-a-Day version isn’t just a pipedream; the company’s already applied for regulatory approval in Europe and plans to do the same in this country later this year.

At the same time, ICOS sweetened its earnings projections for the next few years. The company said it now expects its 2006 net loss to be near the low end of its prior outlook of $5 million to $25 million. It sees the company swinging to a net income of $34-$45 million in 2007, with Cialis sales breaking the $1 billion mark that year.

The news worked to sway ICOS’ shares upward by 7 percent on Thursday. The company’s shares had dipped to below $20 not long ago, but they ended Monday’s trading just below $22 a share.

Anyway, here’s the Cialis Once-a-Day news, first from The Herald: http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/06/09/100bus_cialis001.cfm; and from the Indianapolis Star: http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/06/09/100bus_cialis001.cfm; and from Reuters: http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=marketsNews&storyID=2006-06-08T010757Z_01_WEN9127_RTRIDST_0_HEALTH-ICOS-OUTLOOK.XML.

The daily version’s already been dubbed the “Love Vitamin” by a creative contributor to the Yahoo message board surrounding ICOS stock. That’s to differentiate it from the long-lasting original version, which the French call “le weekend.”

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