Thu, Oct. 29, 6:31 AM
- Allergan (NYSE:AGN) is up 15% premarket on light volume on the news that it is in talks with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) about a possible merger. If the deal goes through, it would create the world's largest healthcare firm with a market value of $330B, larger than Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) market cap of $278B.
- A lower tax bill is one of the reasons Allergan is an attractive target for Pfizer considering the Botox maker is domiciled in tax-friendly Dublin. The U.S. government clamped down on tax inversion deals last year which scuppered the AbbVie/Shire deal so it is unclear how this might effect Pfizer's ability to change its domicile.
- Potential Pfizer takeover targets GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG) are both down slightly in premarket trading.
- Update: Both Pfizer and Allergan confirm the commencement of "friendly" discussions regarding a potential combination.
Mon, Oct. 12, 10:44 AM
- Thinly traded nano cap Celsion (CLSN +9.2%) moves up on a healthy 10x surge in volume in response to its announcement of positive preclinical results for its GEN-1 IL-12 immunotherapy. Specifically, the combination of GEN-1 IL-12 with Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.7%) Avastin (bevacizumab) and J&J's (JNJ +0.9%) Doxil (doxorubicin HCl liposome injection) showed a greater than 98% reduction in tumor burden compared to the combination of Avastin and Doxil alone in an ovarian cancer cell line called SKOV3 implanted into immunocompromised mice.
- GEN-1 is an immunotherapy consisting of an interleukin-12 (IL-12) DNA plasmid vector encased in a nanoparticle delivery system. It is administered via an intraperitoneal (body cavity) injection.
- The company is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1b trial called OVATION. A Phase 1/2 combination study should commence in mid-2016.
Thu, Sep. 17, 7:59 AM
- Interim results from a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating Achillion Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:ACHN) NS5A inhibitor odalasvir (ACH-3102), in combination with Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), without ribavirin, in HCV-1 patients showed a 100% cure rate (SVR12) in HCV-1 patients (n=6/6) after six or eight weeks of treatment.
- The Phase 2 trial was an open-label, randomized, partial-crossover study to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of six or eight weeks of odalasvir and sofosbuvir, without ribavirin, in patients with HCV-1 infection. Eighteen patients were initially enrolled, including six as observational (group 1). Twelve patients completed eight weeks of treatment (50 mg odalasvir/400 mg sofosbuvir) while the observational group received nothing. All twelve subjects achieved SVR24. Following this phase, the six observational patients plus six additional patients (group 2) received six weeks of treatment with the same combo regimen. All achieved SVR24. Six additional rollover patients (group 3) were treated for six weeks with the combo regimen and all achieved SVR12.
- In a summary that is a bit confusing, the company states that 18 subjects (groups two and three) achieved SVR12 after six weeks of therapy, although it states that only group 3 (n=6) achieved this. Also, the total number of patients in groups 2 and 3 is 12 (6 + 6). Group 1 (n=6) is apparently included as well?
- In May, the company inked a global license and commercialization deal with Janssen Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:JNJ) for HCV products containing one or more of Achillion's HCV assets, including odalasvir, ACH-3422 and sovaprevir.
- Previously: Achillion inks collaboration deal with J&J's Janssen Pharmaceuticals in hep C (May 19)
- ACHN is up 5% premarket on light volume.
- Related tickers: (NYSE:MRK) (NYSE:BMY) (NYSE:ABBV)
Mon, Aug. 17, 4:33 PM
- Major stock indexes rebounded from opening declines to finish modestly higher, after a solid housing report showed some strength on a lightly traded Monday.
- Homebuilding stocks paced gainers, including Toll Brothers (TOL +2.3%); Ryland (RYL +2.1%); KB Home (KBH +3.1%), Lennar (LEN +2.7%) and Taylor Morrison Home (TMHC +2.9%).
- The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 2,102.44; for 2015, it's up 2.12%. The move up came despite a grim reading from New York manufacturing that sent bond yields lower. TLT +0.5%; TBT -0.8%.
- Volumes overall were about 20% below recent average.
- Sector gains were broadly distributed, with a flat energy sector as the laggard. Healthcare stocks performed well, paced by dollar volume leaders Gilead Sciences (GILD +0.7%), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ +1.1%) and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) +1.1%.
Wed, Aug. 12, 1:56 PM
- Among the many sellers of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals (AQXP -10%) recently was Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.6%). According to a regulatory filing, it unloaded over 1.5M shares on August 10 and 11 at an average price of $22.41, reducing its stake to 100K shares.
- Aquinox experienced breathtaking action over several days, even by biotech standards. On Friday, August 8, in response to its announcement of positive trial results for its lead product candidate, shares closed up almost five-fold ($10.42) from Thursday's close of $1.79. On Monday, August 10, shares peaked at a mind-boggling $55.75 before easing to $18.88. On Tuesday, shares peaked at $30.00 before moderating to close at $21.01.
Tue, Mar. 10, 3:51 PM
- Traders spread their love beyond the rumored acquisition target-stoked up move of Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD +17.7%) to Geron (GERN +12.3%). Shares are up on a whopping 24M shares. Speculators are betting that Geron will be taken out, possibly by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.8%), after the latter was outbid by AbbVie (ABBV +0.9%) for Pharmacyclics (PCYC).
- Previously: Geron gets boost from AbbVie-Pharmacyclics deal (March 5)
- Previously: Acadia Pharma now +17.7% as it cancels out of another conference (March 10)
Thu, Mar. 5, 12:15 PM
- Small cap Geron (GERN +17.8%) jumps on a 3x surge in volume as traders take positions speculating on the potential for a move by imetelstat collaboration partner and exclusive licensee Johnson & Johnson (JNJ +0.8%) after it was apparently outbid by AbbVie (ABBV -3.5%) for Pharmacyclics (PCYC +10.5%).
- SA Contributor Stock Doctor recently published an article on why Geron may be worth a close look.
- Previously: Geron wins deal to develop blood disorder drug, could get $935M (Nov. 13, 2014)
Thu, Mar. 5, 8:52 AM
- AbbVie's (NYSE:ABBV) extraordinarily generous buyout of Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) is a crystal clear example of how keen big pharma is to boost its prospects with biotech drugs with blockbuster potential. The transaction's $20B tab, backing out PCYC's $1B cash balance, values Imbruvica (ibrutinib) at $40B since Pharmacyclics' commercial partner Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) gets 50% of Imbruvica's revenue. This implies a multiple of almost 7x Imbruvica's projected peak sales of $6B. By comparison, Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) takeout of Onyx Pharma and Sanofi's (NYSE:SNY) takeout of Genzyme were both at 5x premiums.
- The looming patent expiration for Humira ($12.5B in sales the past four quarters) undoubtedly provided AbbVie extra incentive to get the deal done.
- Adding 50% of Imbruvica's sales to AbbVie's top line should increase its revenue growth 3 - 7% and EPS growth 8 - 11% through 2020.
- According to RBC analyst Michael Yee, other biotechs on the big ticket acquisition radar are: BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BMRN), Dyax (NASDAQ:DYAX), Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR), United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT), Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO), Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE), PTC Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTCT) and Receptos (NASDAQ:RCPT).
Wed, Mar. 4, 4:32 PM
- Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) jumps in apparent response to rumors that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is close to making a premium bid for the $17B biotech. Shares were up 6% in today's session on double normal volume and are up another 2% after hours.
- The two companies have a history of working together. Pharmacyclics and J&J's Janssen Biotech inked a collaboration deal in late 2011 to develop PCI-32765 for a variety of blood cancers.
- The transaction would be the largest for J&J since its takeout of Synthes in 2011 for $21.3B.
Mon, Mar. 2, 8:55 AM
- As rumored, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) sells its underperforming Cordis unit to Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), which picks up the interventional vascular technology business for $1.99B. The transaction is expected to close by end of the year.
- Both stocks are unchanged premarket.
- Previously: J & J rumored to have found a buyer for Cordis unit (Feb. 23)
Wed, Feb. 25, 1:43 PM
Tue, Feb. 17, 5:58 PM
- Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) +11.8% AH after settling the $7.2B lawsuit brought by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) for $600M, ending litigation that has nagged BSX since its 2006 acquisition of Guidant.
- JNJ had sought damages after accusing Guidant of breaching their merger agreement by going with the higher offer from BSX.
- BSX says it admits no liability in the settlement, and will record a $600M charge in its Q4 2014 financial results.
Thu, Feb. 12, 12:56 PM
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -1.6%) slumps on double normal volume after U.S. Patent Office upholds the rejection of its Remicade 2018 patent. Biosimilar makers rally as a result, including thinly-traded nano cap Epirus Biopharmaceuticals (EPRS +15.1%) whose lead product is BOW015, a biosimilar version of Remicade (infliximab).
- Biosimilar-related tickers: (PFE +1.3%)(HSP +0.1%)(AMGN -0.4%)(CHRS +0.2%)(PFNX +14.5%)(NVS -0.2%)
Thu, Jan. 15, 5:52 PM
- DepoMed (NASDAQ:DEPO) +3.7% AH after agreeing to acquire the U.S. license rights to the painkiller Nucynta from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals for $1.05B.
- DEPO says it plans to reintroduce the drug, expand its sales force and promote Nucynta for both chronic pain and nerve damage caused by diabetes; DEPO says Nucynta has patent protection until 2022.
- DEPO, which previously projected 2014 sales of $232M-$242M, says the deal will increase its 2014 pro forma net product revenue guidance by ~2.5x.
Wed, Jan. 14, 8:25 AM
- Ziopharm (NASDAQ:ZIOP) jumps 50% premarket on robust volume in response to its announcement of an exclusive license deal with partner Intrexon (NYSE:XON) (+12%) with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center covering technology and intellectual property related to non-viral adoptive cellular cancer immunotherapies. The technologies originate from two researchers who have pioneered the design and clinical investigation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies for the potential treatment of cancer using non-viral gene integration platforms.
- The two researchers are Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D, professor of pediatrics at MD Anderson who has expertise in immunotherapies and Perry Hackett, Ph.D., professor within the College of Biological Sciences at Minnesota, who discovered and developed a system called Sleeping Beauty, a non-viral DNA plasmid-based gene transfer system.
- The deal brings the CAR-T technology together Intrexon's technology suite and Ziopharm's clinically tested RheoSwitch Therapeutic System interleukin-12 modules. Up to five CARs are expected to enter the clinic this year and off-the-shelf programming initiating in 2016.
- Under the terms of the agreement, MD Anderson will receive $100M from the companies in the form of $50M of common stock from each firm. In addition, the companies have committed $15M - 20M over each of the next three years for researching and developing the technologies.
- CAR-T therapies are the "next big thing" in cancer treatment.
- Related tickers: (NASDAQ:KITE) (NASDAQ:JUNO) (NASDAQ:AMGN) (NYSE:NVS) (NYSE:JNJ)
Thu, Jan. 8, 11:53 AM
- Investors show thinly-traded nano cap Epirus Biopharmaceuticals (EPRS +27.9%) some love after yesterday's positive Ad Comm vote for Sandoz's biosimilar filgrastim. Shares are up on a 6x surge in volume albeit on turnover of only 150K.
- Epirus' lead product is BOW015 (infliximab), a biosimilar to Janssen's (JNJ +0.8%) Remicade. The product is currently marketed in India by Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited. A global Phase 3 trial to support regulatory submissions in other markets will commence this year.
- Previously: FDA Ad Comm gives thumbs up to Sandoz biosimilar filgrastim (Jan. 7)
Johnson & Johnson is a holding company, which is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of products in the health care field within its Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, and Diagnostics business segments.
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