PharmAthene Shares Down, but Emergent Up

Shares of Annapolis-based PharmAthene are down again today, after its disclosure yesterday that it has to give the Food and Drug Administration a new plan within 15 days explaining its "regulatory strategy" for a new anthrax vaccine. The Department of Health and Human Services didn't say whether that would affect the timing of the contract, but investors believe that this pushes the award date back.

Shares of both PharmAthene and Emergent BioSolutions fell yesterday, but today they moved in separate directions. Emergent shares were trading up about 3 1/2 percent shortly before Friday's close, while PharmAthene shares were down about 5 percent.

Emergent released a statement yesterday after the market closed in which chief executive Fuad El-Hibri had this to say: "We strongly support this step by HHS, which potentially reduces development risk for our rPA vaccine candidate. We remain confident that we are well-positioned and competitive to receive any award granted by HHS for the development and procurement of the rPA vaccine."

Emergent shares had fallen almost 11 percent yesterday, to $9.78. Their 52-week low of $8.22 was hit last May. PharmAthene shares fell about 7.7 percent yesterday, closing at $2.50. That's well above its 52-week low of 5 cents a share, hit in October.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 17, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
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