NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/12 -- The Biotech Industry has skyrocketed in 2012 as an increase in the number of new drug approvals has boosted investor optimism within the industry. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) have both gained over 25 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Biotech Industry and provides equity research on ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. (NYSE: IMUC) and Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ: ZLCS).
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"In 2011, the U.S. FDA approved 30 new drugs, compared to 21 in 2010," S&P Capital IQ wrote in a note. "Through September 2012, the year-to-date total was 22. We see an improving trend for FDA first cycle review approvals and a rise in the rate of new drug approvals for rare diseases, which we think is helping to boost investor sentiment for the agency, after years of criticism stemming from inconsistency in making and communicating its decisions."
Another key factor in the Biotech Industry's success has been the "patent cliff" major pharmaceuticals have faced in 2012. Major drug manufacturers have looked to biotech companies to help offset major revenue losses from expiring patents as it is less time consuming than developing new drugs through R&D.
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ImmunoCellular Therapeutics' technologies have potential applications in many cancers with high unmet medical need, including pancreatic, ovarian, colon, small-cell lung, and multiple myeloma. The company's ICT-107 cancer vaccine is anticipated to complete a Phase IIb trial at the end of 2013.
Zalicus is focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for itself and its collaborators in the areas of pain, inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. The company's inflammatory drug Z944, assuming it successfully completes its Phase 1 MAD study, could enter Phase 2 clinical development in the first quarter of 2013.
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