6 Healthcare Stocks To Watch This Week

by: VFC's Stock House

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD): Closing a week that saw many stocks get crushed, Mannkind made headlines on Friday by finishing the day up 18% on news that the company plans to sell senior secured discount notes due in 2017. The deal will raise about $370 million and position Mannkind with funding to continue the advancement of Afrezza, a developmental inhaled insulin product for Type 1 and 2 patients of diabetes.

Afrezza was denied approval yet again by the FDA earlier this year, but the company and investors are placing positive hopes on an approval after the completion of an additional trial testing Afrezza with Mannkind's next-generation inhaler.

The sale of senior notes will - in addition to supporting the Afrezza trial - add development and operating capital to the Mannkind coffers, allow the company to prepare for the commercialization of Afrezza, continue the expansion of its Danbury, Conn., manufacturing facility and fund research, development while also serving general corporate purposes.

Recent headlines have been highlighting MNKD as a stock positioning to break out or of being the beneficiary of a short squeeze, so it might be time to put this one back on the radar.

Siga Technologies (NASDAQ:SIGA): Shares of Siga took quite the haircut last week on news that a judge ruled heavily in favor of PharmAthene (NYSEMKT:PIP) in relation to a lawsuit filed over a merger that never happened between the two companies back in 2006. As a result of the lawsuit, Siga has been ordered to split all profits from its smallpox antiviral ST-246 with PharmAthene, less the first $40 million that Siga will be entitled to keep for itself.

Siga was awarded a money contract with BARDA earlier this year, although between the PIP fiasco and the drama surrounding the contract award, Siga can't seem to keep itself away from playing the main character in a never-ending soap opera.

The significant dip last week may have been a nice buying opp, however, since there will be big bucks coming in from the BARDA contract, with the possibility that the contract could grow in terms. It's also possible that other countries will jump in looking to boost their own bioterror stockpiles.

Regarding SIGA and PIP, it's impressive that a judge can make Siga give up 50% of its profits to a company that hasn't done anything but go to court. Siga plans to appeal, but the appeal process is going to take some time, so as an investor, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting around for that one to play out.

It kinda makes sense for the companies to merge at this point, but I doubt these guys are going to entertain playing nice. That said, the potential of the SIGA pipeline - with heavy emphasis on ST-246 - should lead to an eventual rebound in share price.

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): Trading well off its 52-week highs, Human Genome Sciences jumped right back in the spotlight last week after announcing positive sales growth for Benlysta, the company's recently-approved drug to treat lupus.

Benlysta was the first FDA approval for a lupus drug in over 50 years and stands to gain international momentum after the US FDA approval.

It was a volatile week last week for HGSI, as it was for the entire market, but the stock closed Friday on a high note and could start inching back up towards the twenty dollar market as sentiment again turns positive. Also keep an eye on this one as a potential candidate for a merger or acquisition.

Benlysta is partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK).

Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP): Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals closed Friday at the $1.33 mark after a late day 'paint the tape' trade. The stock had been trading at or near its previous close throughout the day before the closing minutes.

Titan has traded down since announcing the news of positive results from the confirmatory Phase III Probuphine trial a couple of months ago, but there's also been speculative talk of a possible takeover to go along with the results release.

A meeting with the FDA is scheduled for later this year to determine the path forward for approval.

Titan also has Probuphine being tested in the treatment of chronic pain and receives an 8% royalty on sales of Vanda's (NASDAQ:VNDA) treatment for schizophrenia, Fanapt.

Also Watch:

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI): Spectrum has been looking good again and has held up well, given the recent market volatility.

Sales of its main products are increasing and additional milestones are due later this year that could add to the short and long term potential of the company.

The Spectrum business plan will be on show during the coming week in London, England where an overview of the company’s business strategy will be given at the Jefferies 2011 Global Healthcare Conference.

Sentiment is positive surrounding Spectrum, and it could be that this one eventually turns into another JAZZ.

Cytosorbents [CTSO.OB]: As the Cytosorbents share price moves back into the mid teens, the company looks to spread the word in Europe of the success and potential of its flagship product, CytoSorb. CytoSorb is approved in Europe for the treatment of severe sepsis and other indications of high cytokines in the blood.

Disclosure: Long MNKD, SIGA, HGSI, TTNP, SPPI, CTSO.