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LD Micro Small-Cap Activity for the Last Week of August: Index Ends Week Up, Real Estate Firm and Pharma Company Clinch Huge Investment Deals

From Chris Lahiji comes a new summary of the LD Micro newsletter covering microcap activity during the last week of August (August 26-September 1). The newsletter mentions that the LD Micro Index finished the week up by one percent, showing a stronger performance than the nation’s other indices.

The week before the Labor Day holiday was a huge one for commercial real estate data provider Reis, Inc. (REIS), an LD Micro Index component, who announced a $258 million merger with Moody’s Corporation (MCO). Moody’s is paying $23 cash per share, significantly higher than Reis’ $17.35 price before the announcement went public, according to Lahiji. Reis, in business for over four decades, carries information on about 18 million commercial properties across the United States and is the real estate industry’s data source of choice.

In the ‘Impact’ section of the newsletter discussing the week’s biggest gainers and losers, Christian Galatti of Phase 4 Research focuses on two companies in the medical niche.

  • Why Affimed’s (AFMD) Deal With Genentech/Roche Could be Just the Start of Something Big

German-based pharmaceutical company Affimed N.V. (AFMD) saw its shares go up 246 percent following news that it had entered a deal with Roche Holding Ltd.’s Genentech Inc. Under the agreement, Genentech/Roche is putting up $96 million to develop Affimed’s immunotherapeutic treatments for a number of cancers. Over time, Affimed may receive an additional $5 billion through this deal.

Galatti notes that, while investors judged Affimed’s technology to be promising, many did not consider it a safe bet, and shares went from $20 to under $2 over time. Roche’s licensing deal shows that the pharma giant believes in Affimed’s Redirected Optimized Cell Killing (ROCK) platform, which “seems to have the ingredients necessary to be a major step forward in the battle against cancer,” according to a Motley Fool report.

  • Galectin Therapeutics (GALT) +54% – “Exploring Strategic Alternatives” Forcing Immediate Price Discovery.

Galatti throws the spotlight on another healthcare company, Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. (GALT), a clinical stage biotechnology company engaged in the development of treatments for chronic liver and skin diseases and cancer. Of key interest is GR-MD-02, a galectin-3 inhibitor which could be used to treat a number of severe illnesses, including cancer and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with cirrhosis. At the moment, a liver transplant is the only viable treatment for people with end-stage NASH cirrhosis.

Despite promising clinical trial results and FDA approval to continue with Phase three development of GR-MD-02 for treatment of NASH cirrhosis, GALT has experienced dramatic price swings. The company’s share price went up 54 percent to $6.47 on Friday, August 31, from the lowest price reported over the last few months – $3.68 per share – on August 18.

Reporting the company’s second quarter results to its investors, GALT’s president and chief executive officer, Dr. Harold H. Shlevin, said that the company will explore other potential ways in which GR-MD-02 may be used to treat other conditions.

Dr. Shlevin said, “Most immediately, we are focused on advancing our Phase 3 trial in NASH Cirrhosis. However, we continue to investigate a variety of other preclinical applications where research shows that GR-MD-02’s antifibrotic capabilities may help provide more effective treatment in a variety of conditions. We believe this is the best path to build value in our overall galectin franchise.

Galatti writes that, following news that the company is investigating other applications of GR-MD-02, GALT is going through a price discovery process as investors try to decide what the company is worth. The company engaged the services of Back Bay Life Science Advisors, an “internationally focused integrated strategy and transaction advisory organization,” to support this exploration of strategic alternatives.

For more information on LD Micro, visit www.LDMicro.com

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