Dec. 29, 2015, 7:34 AM
- HCV-positive Indians are benefiting from the intense competition between the 11 firms authorized to manufacture and distribute generic versions of Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) in India. Market share-grabbing tactics include screening drives, free diagnostic test kits and bulk discounts to entire villages.
- Dr. Reddy's has established a venture with Arogya Finance to offer no-interest loans to patients while Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) has teamed up with French medical equipment firm Echosens SAS to supply Indian hospitals with 13 ultrasound machines for performing liver scans to determine the level of fibrosis without a liver biopsy. Scans can be performed for ~3,500 rupees (~US$53).
- The price per pill, initially $10 back in March, is now as low as $4.29, over 99% lower than the $1,000 per pill list price in the U.S.
- An estimated 12M Indians are HCV-positive. The incidence is greatest in the Punjab state where certain areas have as high as a 50% infection rate.
Dec. 11, 2015, 4:25 PM
- Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VYGR) initiated with Outperform rating and $36 (52% upside) price target by Wedbush.
- Perrigo (NYSE:PRGO) upgraded to Buy from Hold with $170 (15% upside) price target by Argus.
- Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN) upgraded to Neutral from Sell by Goldman Sachs. Price target raised to $94 (123% upside) from $72.
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) upgraded to Buy from Hold by Jefferies. Price target raised to $55 (24% upside) from $49.
- Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) upgraded to Buy from Hold by Deutsche Bank. Price target raised to $99 (19% upside) from $85.
- PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral. Price target lowered to $44 (12% downside risk) from $55. LabCorp (NYSE:LH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy. Price target lowered to $126 (4% upside) from $142. Danaher (NYSE:DHR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy. Price target lowered to $103 (11% upside) from $104. All by Goldman Sachs.
- Bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Morgan Stanley. Price target lowered to $69 (16% upside) from $143. Maintained at Outperform by Wedbush. Price target lowered to $117 (96% upside) from $165. Downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Roth Capital. Price target lowered to $62 (4% upside) from $121. Maintained at Overweight at Piper Jaffray. Price target unchanged at $204 (242% upside).
Nov. 30, 2015, 8:43 AM
- BG Medicine (NASDAQ:BGMD) amends its License and Distribution Agreement with Abbott Diagnostics (NYSE:ABT) lowering the fees paid to BG for galectin-3 tests sold by Abbott to reference laboratories. The specific amount of the reduction is undisclosed. The original fees will remain unchanged for all other customer segments.
- BG chief Paul Sohmer, M.D., says, "We believe this modification to our agreement will open up a new customer segment for automated testing as well as expedite the transition for existing customers from manual to automated testing for galectin-3. We expect that, as a result, the majority of revenues currently generated from sales of manual test kits will, over time, likely be replaced by product fees generated from the sale of automated tests by our automated partners when their automated tests become available. This modification to our agreement further bolsters our efforts to accelerate adoption of galectin-3 testing.
- Abbott's Diagnostics Division is marketing the automated galectin-3 test as part of the test menu of its Architect immunoassay analyzer. The test is used to help identify chronic heart failure patients who are clinically stable but have a higher risk of adverse events such as hospitalization and mortality.
Nov. 13, 2015, 11:57 AM
- OvaScience (NASDAQ:OVAS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Leerink. Price target lowered to $14 (40% upside) from $16.
- ZS Pharma (NASDAQ:ZSPH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by Credit Suisse. Price target raised to $90 (1% upside) from 67. Downgraded from Overweight to Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target maintained at $90.
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT -0.2%) downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Goldman Sachs. Price target maintained at $48 (9% upside).
Oct. 24, 2015, 7:50 AM
- “We’re trying to figure out where we are and what we do going forward," a Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) source tells the WSJ. "We need to understand the truth."
- The drugstore chain has "no concrete plans at this stage" to expand its partnership with Theranos beyond the 41 stores in Arizona and California which already include Theranos "wellness centers," reports the Journal. That partnership also includes an equity stake in the startup.
- Walgreens made the move after meeting late this week with top brass at Theranos, including CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Said meeting came about after stories questioning the viability of the startup's technology. Walgreens was also unaware of the FDA's surprise inspection of Theranos facilities in August and September, according to sources.
- Previously: Theranos chief Holmes says technology sound (Oct. 21)
- Related tickers: Abbot Labs (NYSE:ABT), Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), Lab Corp. (NYSE:LH), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY)
Oct. 21, 2015, 12:44 PM
- During a technology conference in California hosted by the Wall Street Journal, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes defended her company and its technology against critics who claim things are not what they seem at the high-flying early-stage firm.
- She said the company has moved away from one of its devices only briefly as it proceeds to getting FDA clearance for all of its tests. She also cites her personal involvement in enacting a law in Arizona that allows patients to get blood tests without a doctor's order, saying, "I personally in Arizona worked very hard to change the law. I can't do that without knowing that the tests that are offered are of the highest quality."
- Related tickers: (ABT +1.2%)(OTCQX:RHHBY -1%)(LH -1.2%)(DGX -0.7%)
- Previously: Upstart Theranos has arrived, the ax grinding has begun (Oct. 16)
- Previously: FDA clears upstart Theranos' test system (July 2)
Oct. 21, 2015, 8:27 AM
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Q3 results ($M): Total Revenues: 5,150 (+0.9%); Nutrition: 1,789 (+0.1%); Diagnostics: 1,156 (-2.0%); Est. Pharmaceuticals: 961 (+24.6%); Medical Devices: 1,230 (-7.4%).
- Net Income: 580 (+7.8%); EPS: 0.38 (+5.6%).
- 2015 Guidance: EPS: $1.59 - 1.61 from $1.50 - 1.60; Non-GAAP EPS: $2.14 - 2.16 from $2.10 - 2.20.
Oct. 21, 2015, 7:47 AM
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Q3 EPS of $0.54 beats by $0.01.
- Revenue of $5.15B (+1.0% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
Oct. 20, 2015, 5:30 PM
Oct. 20, 2015, 10:00 AM
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT -0.1%) reports Q3 results tomorrow before the open. Consensus view is EPS of $0.53 (-14.5%) on revenues of $5.15B (+1%).
Oct. 16, 2015, 2:00 PM
- Start-ups, especially biotechs, typically enjoy an "image honeymoon" period with stakeholders, constituency groups and the press as they try to pull themselves up from a "little company that could" to establishing themselves as sustainable enterprises and legitimate players in their respective markets. Anyone remotely familiar to the biotech arena knows how extraordinarily difficult it is to pull this off so it is rare to see anything but encouraging references to the upstarts as they pursue their visions of successful disruptions and the monetary rewards that follow. Once the company gets momentum and grows in size and valuation, the situation evolves as insiders position themselves for the big payday and competitors wake up to the potential threat. Those who feel threatened or disadvantaged typically use the press to drum up negative news either as "payback" for being excluded from the money train or to dim the aura of the upstart's halo.
- Palo Alto, CA-base Theranos is a case in point. The medical diagnostics firm, started by a teen-aged Stanford University drop-out in 2003, now sports a $9B market cap based on the disruptive potential of its automated microfluidics-based system to the $50B global diagnostics industry. Founder Elizabeth Holmes is a billionaire at age 31. The enormous amount of money at stake inevitably leads to "haves" and "have-nots."
- An article published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday is a superb example of this dynamic. The reporter based his article on information provided by four former (disgruntled) employees who allege that Theranos' dream is quite a distance from reality, saying, among other things, that most of the tests currently being offered are performed by traditional instruments rather than its proprietary Edison system. Other missteps cited in the article, such as providing an incorrect result, occur every day in the diagnostics industry. The selective use of individual examples paints a very biased view of reality. Some of the information may be true, but it is impossible to determine fact from fiction. No one said being a billionaire was easy.
- Previously: FDA clears upstart Theranos' test system (July 2)
- Previously: Upstart Theranos receives CLIA waiver for test system clearing the way for rapid diagnostics in Wellness Center setting (July 16)
- Related tickers: (LH +0.7%)(DGX +1.5%)(ABT -0.4%)(OTCQX:RHHBY +1.6%)
Oct. 12, 2015, 4:38 PM
- Results from a late-stage clinical trial, called ABSORB III, showed Abbott's (NYSE:ABT) fully dissolving Absorb heart stent was non-inferior (no worse than) to its top-selling XIENCE metallic drug-eluting stent. The results, presented today at the 27th Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, were used to support a regulatory application in the U.S.
- The data from ABSORB III demonstrated that there was no statistically significant difference in the two devices after one year. Specifically, the target lesion failure rate (the primary endpoint) for Absorb and XIENCE was 7.8% and 6.1%, respectively (non-inferiority p<0.007). All other pre-specified secondary endpoints were not statistically different, including the rate of definite and/or probable stent thrombosis (blood clot).
- During the meeting, Abbott also presented results from ABSORB China, a 480-subject study comparing Absorb to XIENCE that was conducted to support regulatory approval there. The primary endpoint, non-inferiority defined by in-segment late loss at one year, was also met (non-inferiority p=0.01).
- Absorb is currently cleared in over 100 countries. The company's regulatory application has been filed in the U.S. and will be filed in China in the near future.
Oct. 9, 2015, 10:00 AM
- Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO +0.3%) initiated with Buy rating and $145 (15% upside) price target by Argus.
- Fate Therapeutics (FATE +0.4%) initiated with Outperform rating and $8 (41% upside) price target by Raymond James.
- Ocata Therapeutics (OCAT +2.1%) initiated with Outperform rating and $8 (66% upside) price target by Raymond James.
- Eli Lilly (LLY +2.8%) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral by Credit Suisse. Price target raised to $105 (22% upside) from $89.
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT +1%) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays. Price target lowered to $52 (26% upside) from $55.
- NuVasive (NUVA -1.6%) upgraded to Buy from Hold by Canaccord Genuity. Price target raised to $58 (16% upside) from $52.
- Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD +5.4%) upgraded to Buy from Neutral with an $8 (11% upside) price target by Chardan Capital.
- Bluebird bio (BLUE +1.5%) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target maintained at $143 (61% upside).
- Pfizer (PFE +0.5%) upgraded to Outperform from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target raised to $38 (15% upside) from $35.
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX +1.2%) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target raised to $148 (35% upside) from $118.
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN -0.2%) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Price target raised to $211 (29% upside) from $186.
Oct. 7, 2015, 1:32 PM
- PharMerica (PMC +1.2%) reaches a voluntary settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding its investigation into the company's alleged violations of the False Claims Act (Anti-Kickback Statute) during the period January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2008 related to its agreements with the manufacturer of Depakote [at the time, Abbott Labs (ABT +1.8%)].
- The firm denied the allegations but elected to settle the matter by paying $9.25M to the federal government and plaintiff states.
- In May, it reached another settlement with the DOJ and DEA over illegal dispensing of controlled substances by paying $31.5M.
- Previously: PharMerica settles drug dispensing suit with DOJ and DEA for $31.5M (May 14)
- Previously: Pharmerica charged by Justice Department for violating Controlled Substances Act; filing false Medicare claims (Aug. 9, 2013)
Sep. 18, 2015, 6:13 PM
- Mexico City-based generic drugmaker Representaciones e Investigaciones Medicas -- Rimsa -- is drawing interest from big pharma companies, particularly including Pfizer (PFE -1.9%), Sanofi (SNY -3%) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT -2.1%), Bloomberg reports.
- Rimsa could draw about $1B in a purchase by any of a list of suitors, which also could include Teva (TEVA -1.6%) and Takeda (OTCPK:TKPYY -1.9%).
- Healthcare spending rates in Mexico are expected to rise to be more in line with other emerging markets like Brazil and Chile. Spending is relatively low and the market is fragmented.
- Goldman Sachs is managing the sale.
Sep. 17, 2015, 9:02 AM
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) declares $0.24/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 2.19%
- Payable Nov. 15; for shareholders of record Oct. 15; ex-div Oct. 13.
Abbott Laboratories engages in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a broad and diversified line of health care products. The company operates through four reportable segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products.... More
Industry: Drug Manufacturers - Major
Country: United States
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