Rockville biotechnology firm EntreMed changes name to CASI Pharmaceuticals

One of the region’s long-standing biotechnology companies began trading under a new name this morning.

Rockville-based EntreMed will henceforth be known as CASI Pharmaceuticals after shareholders voted last week to make the switch. The company develops treatments for cancer and other illnesses, with a newfound focus on the growing demand for drugs in China.

“The new name is in furtherance of the remaking of EntreMed and reflects our mission to combat cancer through advanced science and innovation, and also reflects our integrated development strategy in China and North America,” chief executive Ken K. Ren wrote in a letter to shareholders on March 27.

The company now trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “CASI.”

Founded in 1991, EntreMed was ballyhooed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the boom years of the biotechnology industry, as being on the verge of developing a cancer cure. When that didn’t prove to be the case, its stock price tumbled, along with many others in the sector.

“Changing our name is an important milestone as it represents another step toward completing our company’s transformation,” Ren said in a statement Friday. “Our operations and strategic focus have evolved and today have little resemblance to our legacy years.”

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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