Today - Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- Nano cap biotech Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (RNN) enjoys a pop in today's trading. Shares have eased a bit from the intraday high of $1.47, but are still up ~9% at $1.36.
- The firm disclosed initial results from its Phase 1 clinical trial of Supinoxin (RX-5902). Three patients have received two - six cycles of treatment. All doses were well tolerated.
- Some observers perceive the action as proof of investors' overexuberance with all things biotech.
- Investors take umbrage at Sunshine Heart (SSH) today in response to its earnings report published this morning. Shares are down 16% on seven times normal volume.
- Some investors perceive that the company's patient enrollment for the C-Pulse system is proceeding at too slow a pace.
- 36 mutual funds have positions, up from 12 a year ago.
- Colorado is off to a fast start collecting tax revenue from the sale of medicinal and recreational marijuana. According to Forbes, the state's January take was $1.5M for the former and $2M for the latter. The bulk of sales happen in Denver county.
- The fully-burdened tax rate can be as high as 21.1% on pot consumers.
- The state also charges a 15% "retail marijuana excise tax" that is levied on the first sale or transfer from a cultivation facility.
- The state now faces the political problem about how and where to spend the money.
- Marijuana industry stocks such as (MDBX) (CBIS) (MJNA) (GRNH) continue to generate substantial investor interest and debate.
- Prana Biotechnology (PRAN -2.2%) is set to join the S&P/ASX 300 Index on March 21 following a quarterly review by Dow Jones.
- The S&P/ASX 300 is adjusted every quarter to reflect Australia's largest 300 companies by market cap. Dow Jone's decision comes after Prana's valuation surged to over $415M.
- Entrance to the S&P/ASX 300 will expose Prana to a wider range of investors. (6-K)
- Wells Fargo downgrades NxStage Medical (NXTM) to Underperform reducing its price target to $10 - $12 from $11 - $14 citing the potential cannabalizing effect of opening 10 - 15 new dialysis centers on its core business. For the first time, it will be directly competing with its customers (large dialysis service providers) for patients.
- Analyst Gary Lieberman believes that this strategy is misguided because it will not synergize its home dialysis business and will potentially jeopardize its in-center revenue.
- NXTM shares currently trade at $14.
- Mutual fund ownership dropped from 207 to 192 from Q3 to Q4.
- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM +3.3%) presents data from animal studies that support the potential of the company's phosphatidylserine (PS) targeting antibodies to overcome immune suppression and boost anti-tumor activity.
- Peregrine's lead PS-targeting antibody, Bavituximab, is in Phase III trials of patients with second-line non-small cell lung cancer.
- PS is an "immune checkpoint" that helps boost tumor immunity. (PR)
- Medical products distributor Henry Schein (HSIC) inks a 3-year distribution deal with Sysmex to sell its line of hematology analyzers in the alternate care setting.
- Consensus estimates for Q1 and 2014 are EPS of $1.13 on revenues of $2.43B and EPS of $5.37 on revenues of $10.2B, respectively.
- 780 mutual funds have positions in the stock.
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and TPI Enterprises want the government of Australia to let them grow poppies on the country's mainland, due to a shortage of opium for pain killers and amid soaring demand.
- Australia only allows poppy growing in Tasmania, which is responsible for around half of the world's supply of opiate-based pain relief. Recent drought and storms in Tasmania have meant that drug firms can't get enough crops.
- Bayer (BAYRY) signs multi-year extension with Roche's (RHHBY) Ventana Medical Systems to develop companion diagnostics focused on immunohistochemistry.
- The agreement focuses on the development of diagnostic tests for Bayer's biomarker-targeted therapeutics.
- Ventana will create an expert team with resources exclusively designated for Bayer.
- Financial terms are undisclosed.
- WuXi PharmaTech (WX) inks a collaboration with Seattle-based Pacific Biomarkers. The company will provide access to its wide menu of validated biomarker assays to support WuXi's clinical trial testing services.
- Pacific's offerings include biomarkers for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, acute kidney injury, musculoskeletal disorders and inflammation.
- Sanofi (SNY) is partnering with Belgium's UCB to develop anti-inflammatory small molecules that could be used "to treat a wide range of immune-mediated diseases in areas such as gastroenterology and arthritis."
- Sanofi will make upfront and milestone payments that have the potential to surpass €100M.
- The companies will share costs and profits on a 50-50 basis.
- The agreement is the latest example of a major pharmaceutical company looking externally for new drugs. (PR)
8:40 AM| Comment!
- Rexahn's (RNN) Supinoxin (RX-5902) has so far shown to be "safe and well-tolerated" in an ongoing Phase I trial of patients with solid cancer tumors, with no drug-related side-effects reported.
- A fourth dosing cycle has been initiated following the completion of three cycles.
- In animal testing, treatment with Supinoxin resulted in a significant reduction in tumor growth.
- Shares jump 14.9%. (PR)
- Goldman Sachs upgrades InterMune (ITMN) to Buy with a price target of $45 citing better-than-expected top line Phase 3 results for pirfenidone.
- Analyst Terence Flynn models peak sales of $1.3B based on a projected price of $75,000.
- Q3 FDA filing date may be conservative.
- 11 of 14 analysts rate the company at least Buy.
- Consensus revenue estimates for 2014 and 2015 are $137M and $316M, respectively.
8:06 AM| Comment!
8:00 AM| Comment!
- The White House has dropped a proposal to permit insurers to limit Medicare coverage for certain types of pharmaceuticals, including drugs for depression and schizophrenia.
- Medicare argued that the measure would have saved money, but the Administration ran into trouble with patients, drug firms and members of Congress from both parties.
- Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
- ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS