The Ticker / Macrocure Shares Plunge After Report of Failed Clinical Trial

Delta Galil boosts third-quarter profits; TASE to delay index adjustments until reforms are enacted; Tel Aviv shares turn higher, boosted by pharmaceuticals

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Outside of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Shares bounced back strongly on Sunday after last week's decline. Credit: Bloomberg

Macrocure shares plunge after report of failed clinical trial

Macrocure shares lost almost two-thirds of their value yesterday after it said its cell therapy for hard-to-treat wounds failed a late-stage U.S. study. The Israeli company said the trial of its CureXcell failed to show a statistically significant proportion of subjects with complete wound closure at 16 weeks and sustained complete closure for four additional weeks in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. “We will analyze all strategic options for the company and continue to focus on managing and conserving our existing cash,” CEO Nissim Mashiach said in a statement. Already in use in Israel, CureXcell is a formulation of living human white blood cells activated to stimulate wound healing and closure from the inside out. The results are a second blow in quick succession to Macrocure, after an independent data and safety monitoring committee said in August that it expected CureXcell to fail a late-stage study in patients with venous leg ulcers. Macrocure shares were down 61.6% at $1.64 midafternoon local time in New York. (Reuters)

Delta Galil boosts third-quarter profits
Delta Galil Industries, which makes apparel under its own name and for others like Calvin Klein, turned in another strong quarter of sales and profit gains yesterday. The company said net income attributable to shareholders before one-time items was $14.1 million in the third quarter, up 2% from $13.9 million a year ago while sales climbed to $284.6 million, a 6% increase after taking into account foreign currency fluctuations and 12% without them. “Looking at the key drivers of our profitable growth this quarter, we saw an increase in sales in Delta USA and in the Global Upper Market segments, while both our Schiesser business in Europe and Delta Israel increased sales in original currency. A rising proportion of our sales now comes from branded products,” said CEO Isaac Dabah, pointing to Delta’s purchase of the PJ Salvage brand this year. Delta shares ended 3.6% higher at 120.20 shekels ($31.12). (Eran Azran)

TASE to delay index adjustments until reforms are enacted

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO Yossi Beinart told TheMarker on Tuesday he was delaying adjusting the exchange’s share indexes until a system reform is completed. He spoke amid criticism of the TASE for allowing small biotech firms, the latest example being the U.S. company Mannkind, to take advantage of their relatively heavy weightings in the TASE’s share indexes to pull in investment capital from passive investors such as exchange-traded note funds. “It’s true that in Israel an anomaly exists — the indexes are small and big companies like Teva have an outsized impact,” Beinart told TheMarker. “Our reforms are supposed to correct the situation and increase the number of stocks in each index.  ... Because we have been privileged to have a few companies join trading in Israel before the reforms, we have decided to delay updating the indexes.” (Shelly Appelberg)

Tel Aviv shares turn higher, boosted by pharmaceuticals

Tel Aviv shares turned higher yesterday, led by drug stocks Teva Pharmaceuticals and Perrigo.  The benchmark TA-25 index ended 0.1%higher at 1,566.15 points while the broader TA-100 index added 0.2% to 1,359.98 points. Turnover was 1.11 billion shekels ($290 million). Teva jumped nearly 3% to close at 237.10 shekels and Perrigo, which was waiting for a court ruling to block Mylan’s hostile takeover bid, rose 1.9% to 611.10. Frutarom advanced 3.5% to 167.70 in unusually heavy trading. The gains were more than enough to offset losses for Alon Blue Square and Jerusalem Economy (see separate stories on this page). In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond declined 0.31% to raise its yield to 1.93% while the 10-year Galil lost 0.5% to a yield of 0.48%. REIT 1 raised 166 million shekels in the institutional tranche of a bond offering that drew 700 million shekels in orders. (Shelly Appelberg)

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