Business in Brief: Foamix Soars on Trials for Acne Treatment

Opko chief, ex-Teva chairman Phillip Frost charged with share manipulation in U.S. ■ Generation Capital takes 50% stake in power plant operator Rapac Energy ■ TASE ends lower after long holiday weekend

Foamix CEO Dov Tamarkin, left, and cofounder Meir Eini.
Dor Borokov

Foamix soars on trials for acne treatment

Shares of Foamix Pharmaceuticals soared on Wednesday after the Israeli company reported that its lead drug for treating moderate-to-severe acne met the main goals of its late-stage Phase III clinical trial. The company said that its FMX-101, a topical minocycline foam, showed significant reduction in the number of inflammatory lesions in a trial including 1,507 patients. Foamix said the drug’s safety profile was also found to be consistent with its two prior late-stage studies. “This is the most significant milestone to date for Foamix and brings us closer to helping patients who struggle with the physical and psycho-social effects of acne. If approved, we believe FMX-101 would be the first topical minocycline product available for patients in the United States,” said CEO David Domzalski. Acne affects about 45 million people in the U.S., of whom about 10 million have it in a moderate-to-severe form. Fomix shares were up14% at $6.75in late morning trading in New York. (Yoram Gabison)

Opko chief, ex-Teva chairman Phillip Frost charged with share manipulation in U.S.

Phillip Frost, a former chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals who today leads the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded company Opko Health, was one of 10 people charged last Friday in the United States with manipulating penny stocks. Opko was also charged. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the 10 participated in long-running fraudulent that generated more than $27 million from unlawful stock sales and left retail investors holding virtually worthless stock. The complaint alleges that the Florida-based group manipulated the share prices of three tiny companies from 2013 to 2018 in what are known as “pump and dump” schemes. The SEC alleged that Frost participated in two of the schemes and wants the 10 defendants to give up their “ill-gotten gains,” with interest and penalties, and be barred from other penny-stock offerings. Trading in Opko shares have been suspended on the Nasdaq and TASE. (TheMarker Staff)

Generation Capital takes 50% stake in power plant operator Rapac Energy

Generation Capital, an infrastructure and energy fund on its way to an initial public offering later this year, said on Wednesday it was acquiring a 50% stake in Rapac Energy in a multipart deal. A unit of publicly traded Rapac Communications & Infrastructure, Rapac Energy controls 82% of two private power stations under development at Ramat Gavriel and Alon Tavor that will be powered by natural gas from the Tamar field. Under the terms of the deal, Generation Capital will pay 70 million shekels ($19.6 million) for its stake and inject 32.5 million shekels in fresh capital into the company. It will also buy 37.5 million in Rapac Energy capital notes and lend the company 20 million shekels, an amount that will be matched by Rapac Communications. The two companies also pledged to put up another 21.5 million if needed to help complete construction of the two plants. Rapac Communications shares ended up 0.95% at 10.68 shekels. (Eran Azran)

TASE ends lower after long holiday weekend

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange came back from a long Rosh Hashana weekend to end lower on Wednesday. The TA-35 and TA-125 indices both finished down more than 0.1% to 1,633.48 and 1,468.69 points, respectively, on turnover of 1.36 billion shekels ($380 million). Teva Pharmaceuticals lost 1.9% to end at 79.10 shekels after Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Outperform, lowering his U.S. price target by $2 a share, to $23, ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s expected decision on Fremanezumab, the key migraine drug in Teva’s pipeline. Other big losers were Biotime, down 16.2% to 8.10, and TowerJazz, down 5.2% to 74.20. Among gainers, Ormat Technology rose 6% to 197.10, Mazor Robotics advanced 4.6% to 90.41 and Fox rose 4.2% to 71.93. Telrad Network gained 1.5% to 2.99 after securing a $22 million contract to build a broadband network in the U.S. (Jasmin Gueta).