Biotech (GALT, EPIX, CLRB) Dominates Closing Day at Roth Conference

Edward Kim  |

The Roth Capital conference comes to a close today at the Ritz Carlton at Dana Point, California, with a half day session featuring 67 scheduled company presentations, of which nearly half are biotech or healthcare related.

One company outside of biotech that we highlighted last week will also be there today. LM Funding America (NASDAQ: LMFA) is a specialty finance company offering unique funding solutions to community associations. CEO Bruce Rodgers is scheduled to present today at the Roth conference at 11:00am Pacific time in The Colonnade meeting room (color coded Aqua).

Among the biotechnology companies scheduled for today are three microcaps that we’ve been following. (Two of these inconveniently will be presenting at the same time, so we’re thankful for archived webcasts.)

Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GALT) - 11:30am Pacific time in Salon 2 (Blue)

ESSA Pharma (NASDAQ: EPIX and Toronto: EPI) - 11:30am Pacific time in Salon 5 (Pink)

Cellectar Biosciences (NASDAQ: CLRB) - 12:30pm Pacific time in Salon 6 (Yellow)


We highlighted the trading action in Galectin Therapeutics last month when the company first announced that it would be presenting at the Roth conference.The company, based in Norcross, Georgia, is developing therapies that target the body’s galectin proteins, which have been demonstrated to have a central role in the progression of a spectrum of undesirable outcomes.

Inhibiting these galectins may prove to be an effective treatment against inflammation, fibrosis and cancer. The company’s primary focus is on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis.

An estimated 1 in 4 people worldwide are affected by fatty liver disease (FLD), which translates into a potential global market of $35-$40 billion based on current rates of progression of FLD to NASH. NASH represents one of the largest remaining market opportunities with no approved treatments.

Source: Galectin Therapeutics Corporate Fact Sheet, January 2017

Harold Shlevin, PhD, Galectin Therapeutics’ chief operating officer, is scheduled to present today at 11:30 am Pacific time in Salon 2 (Blue). A live webcast of the presentation may be accessed on the conference website.


ESSA Pharma is a Vancouver-based developer of novel treatments for cancer, with a primary focus on prostate cancer – which has the highest incidence and is the second most common cause of death in men. While patients receiving an early detection can benefit from surgery or androgen (e.g., testosterone) deprivation therapy, disease progression generally transitions to the lethal form, called castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Many patients with CRPC will have developed a resistance to one or both of the drugs that are the current standard of care: Zytiga (Janssen Biotech division of Johnson & Johnson) and Xtandi (Astellas Pharma). ESSA is currently in the clinic with its lead candidate, EPI-506, to evaluate its efficacy in patients with metastatic CRPC who have failed one or both of those medications.

ESSA's science involves the inhibition of androgen receptors (ARs), which are present in many of the body's tissues and are the sites where androgens normally attach. The resulting androgen-AR complex then binds to DNA and regulates the activity of androgen-responsive genes.

EPI-506 is the first ever compound to be clinically tested that inhibits an area on the AR called the N-terminal domain, which controls the AR's transcriptional activity - or the initial step in gene expression. Blocking the AR in this way has been shown in preclinical trials to be effective in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth.

Source: ESSA Pharma corporate web site

David R. Parkinson, ESSA’s President and CEO is scheduled to present at the Roth conference today at 11:30am in Salon 5 (Pink).


Cellectar Biosciences, based in Madison, Wisconsin, is developing phospholipid drug conjugates (PDCs) designed to deliver targeted payloads – including radiotherapeutics, chemotherapeutics and molecular diagnostics – to a range of cancers and cancer stem cells without causing damage to nearby healthy cells. Phospholipids are major components of cellular membranes.

Cellectar has a two-pronged approach to drug development that differentiates it from many of its peers. In addition to its PDC platform and clinical portfolio which is being developed in-house, the company is collaborating with Pierre Fabre, the 3rd largest French multinational pharmaceutical company, to design a library of PDCs that deliver Pierre Fabre’s developed chemotherapeutic compounds.

Source: Cellectar Biosciences corporate web site

Yesterday, Cellectar announced a newly issued Japanese patent for two of its compounds for use in intraoperative tumor imaging both in vitro and in vivo. President and CEO Jim Caruso commented that while the company’s focus “continues to be the development of the PDC platform for therapeutic uses, including our lead product candidate CLR 131 in hematologic malignancies, the additional global patent protection provides us with unique opportunities for partnerships to further explore the clinical utility of our technology and enhance the value of the platform.”

Jim Caruso is scheduled to present at the Roth conference at 12:30 pm Pacific time in Salon 6 (Yellow). An audio replay of Mr. Caruso’s remarks will be available on the company's web site.

The company will also be reporting its Q4 and full year 2016 results today. There will be a conference call and live webcast at 3:00pm Pacific time, which investors may participate by dialing (888) 646-8293 (US) or (973) 453-3065 (international) or via webcast.

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