The 2002 Globe 100
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5. I N D E V U S P H A R M A C E U T I C A L S I N C.
Attracting investors in year when many fled biotech
ith two drugs in late stages of development, shares in Indevus, formerly known as Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, shot up over the one-year period, climbing from $3.13 on March 31, 2001 to $8.75 on March 31. It closed Friday at $7.36.
Bill Boni, the company's spokesman, said its drug, pagoclone, to treat panic and general anxiety disorders, captured investor interest when Pfizer, the Lexington company's partner in developing and marketing the drug, began talking publicly about it.
If approved to treat patients with general anxiety disorders, Boni said, the drug could become a blockbuster, particularly in the hands of a marketing powerhouse like Pfizer. About 20 million people nationwide suffer from the disorder.
Add to that the company's drug, trospium, in the final phase of testing for urinary incontinence, and two other drugs in earlier stages of clinical testing, and the company attracted investors in a year when many were fleeing the biotechnology sector.
"It was a tough year if you were a small, discovery-stage company," said Boni. "We fared better because investors saw the potential of pagoclone in combination with the fact that we also are developing other opportunities."
Indevus buys the rights to drugs discovered by other companies, rather than undertaking a costly research endeavor. It then shepherds the drugs through clinical testing, or licenses them to a larger drug company for development and marketing.
The company, which is not yet profitable, raised $20 million late last year -- the first time it has gone back to the public markets since going public in 1996. It has $50 million in cash and burns through about $15 million a year.
"The business model has really sustained us nicely," Boni said.