Patent for component of Viagra-like drug gives big boost to Can-Fite shares
Can-Fite shares rallied yesterday after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the biotechnology company’s rights to a key part of a drug it is developing that could compete with Viagra. The company said the U.S. approved patent rights for its A3 Adenosine Receptor Allosteric Modulators, which is a component of its next-generation drug, CF602, for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. Can-Fite said it now planned to file an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a Phase I study of CF602 during the fourth quarter of 2016. “We believe there is a clear and unmet need for a new sexual dysfunction drug that safely and more effectively treats erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes,” said CEO Pnina Fishman. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 30 million Americans have diabetes mellitus and 35-75% of men suffering the condition also have erectile dysfunction. Can-Fite shares closed up 5.3% to 4.36 shekels ($1.10). (Uri Tomer)
Israel Chemicals shares gain after rival shuts potash mine
Israel Chemicals shares rose yesterday after rival potash producer Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan said it would suspend operations “indefinitely” at its Picadilly mine in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The move by the world’s biggest miner of potash should ease some of the global oversupply that has caused prices to fall sharply over the past year. Soft grain prices and weak currencies in major consumers such as Brazil and India have also contributed to the decline as Potash Corp.’s average realized potash price fell 11% year-over-year to $250 per metric ton in the third quarter. As demand for the crop nutrient has fallen worldwide, the world’s biggest fertilizer company by capacity has in recent months closed its Penobsquis potash mine in New Brunswick and suspended production at three mines in Saskatchewan. Shares of Israel Chemicals finished 3.7% higher at 15.87shekels ($4). (TheMarker Staff and Reuters)
Saban’s Univision takes stake in satirical website The Onion
Univision Communications, the Spanish-language media group partly controlled by Israeli-U.S. entrepreneur Haim Saban, said it had acquired a 40% stake in the satirical U.S. news site The Onion, a spokesperson said yesterday. No financial terms or other specifics were made available. Univision, which is mostly known for its Spanish-language programming, has expanded its reach with the 2013 launch of the Fusion network, a joint venture with Disney’s ABC that is targeting a younger Latin audience with English-language programming. Onion Incorporated began as a print publication in Madison, Wisconsin but today is a digital media player that attracts more than 30 million viewers to its sites every month, which include The Onion, Clickhole and the AV Club. However, it makes more than 80% of its revenue through Onion Labs, an in-house advertising agency that creates sought-after sponsored advertising content.
Tel Aviv shares end off day’s highs
Tel Aviv shares ended higher yesterday despite some last-minute selling that weighed on shares. The benchmark TA-25 index ended more than 0.5% higher at 1,464.16 points, while the TA-100 advanced 0.6% to 1.258.69. Some 1.22 billion shekels ($310 million) in shares changed hands. Among blue-chip gainers, Teva Pharmaceuticals finished 1.7% up at 251.30 shekels and Bezeq rose 1.2% to 8.70. Top gainers in the TA-100 index were Delek Automotive, which closed 5.1% up at 34.98, and Direct Insurance, which added 4.4% to 24.83. But shares of El Al Airlines extended recent losses, slumping 4.7% to 2.77 shekels amid reports that institutional investors were dumping the stock after a strong run-up. Banking and energy shares were lower as well. In the fixed-income market, the price of the government’s 10-year shekel bond fell 0.1% to raise its yield to 1.95%. (Uri Tomer)