Zogenix (ZGNX +4.3%) submits a supplemental New Drug Application to the FDA for an abuse deterrent version of Zohydro ER (hydrocodone bitartrate). The new capsule formulation contains additional inactive ingredients that make the product more difficult to abuse by injection and nasal insufflation (snorting).
The company anticipates a target action date sometime in Q1 2015. If approved, the transition to the new formulation will occur in Q2.
Another Allergan (NYSE:AGN) investor has spoken out against the company's pursuit of a costly purchase to fend off Valeant's (NYSE:VRX) $54B takeover bid.
Jackson Square, the eighth largest investor in Allergan, now joins T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW), announcing its dissatisfaction with the newly proposed acquisition.
This past week, Allergan was reported to be "in advanced talks" to buy Salix (NASDAQ:SLXP) in an all-cash deal after turning down an offer from Actavis (NYSE:ACT).
“We appreciate the perspectives of our stockholders,” Allergan says in an e-mailed statement. “Allergan’s Board remains confident in the company’s ability to deliver significantly more value than Valeant’s grossly inadequate offer.”
Market buzz is building about Actavis (ACT +2.1%) making a move for Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP -0.2%) which would submarine Allergan's (AGN +3.7%) reported acquisition plans as a tactic to thwart Valeant (VRX +6.9%).
Actavis itself is supposedly a takeover target of Pfizer (PFE +1%).
Pfizer (PFE -0.6%) approached Actavis (ACT +3.3%) to "express its interest in an acquisition," sources tell Bloomberg. However, the news service adds the companies "aren’t currently in formal talks and Pfizer hasn’t made an offer."
Actavis has spiked on the report. Pfizer, interested in doing a tax inversion deal, made a rejected bid to acquire AstraZeneca earlier this year. Actavis was reported yesterday to have made a rejected offer for Allergan (AGN +1.4%), which is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Salix.
Yesterday, the Treasury Department announced it's close to finalizing rules meant to discourage U.S. companies from doing inversion deals.
The WSJ reports Allergan (NYSE:AGN) is "in advanced talks" to buy Salix (NASDAQ:SLXP) in an all-cash deal after turning down an offer from Actavis (NYSE:ACT). The paper adds an Allerga/Salix deal, meant to thwart Valeant's (NYSE:VRX) hostile bid for Allergan, could be announced "late this week or next."
A source says Actavis is still interested in buying Allergan, but only through a "friendly" deal. Whereas Valeant has suggested it would pare back Allergan's R&D spend should its hostile bid succeed, Actavis has reportedly promised to keep Allergan's R&D spend intact.
Some large Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SLXP) shareholders would rather the company back out of its proposed acquisition of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals and try to sell itself to a larger pharma company like Actavis (NYSE:ACT) or Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Investors controlling at least 25% of SLXP shares are threatening to vote down the deal. A majority must approve it for it to proceed.
They believe that an inversion deal with Cosmo will make it more difficult to find a buyer for Salix, whose market cap is just shy of $10B.
Under the terms of the merger, Salix shareholders would own 80% of a jointly-held Irish unit and Cosmo the rest. If Salix backs out, it would have to pay a relatively-modest $25M break-up fee.
Salix has had a good year in 2014. Shares are up 73% year-to-date.
Barron's Ben Levisohn believes that AstraZeneca (AZN +0.7%) remains a solid target for Pfizer (PFE +0.9%) citing the tax inversion appeal, the ability to free up its ex-U.S. cash and AZN's robust pipeline.
He also believes Actavis (ACT -0.2%) is an equally compelling target due to its lower risk and good fit with Pfizer's Global Established Product unit while offering the tax inversion pathway and access to ex-U.S. cash as well.
The FDA accepts Actavis' (ACT +0.8%) NDA for its priority review-tagged eluxadoline for the treatment of diarrhea and abdominal pain in adults with diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D).
Nevertheless, Goldman's list of 50 stocks which "matter most" to hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 66% of the time since 2001. The stocks this quarter (posted in order of the number of funds in which a name is a top-10 holding):
A special call-out to Northstar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Visteon (NYSE:VC), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), and Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) for making the list of hedge fund hotels despite their relatively tiny market caps.
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey rules in favor of Depomed (DEPO -8.5%) in its patent infringement suit against Actavis (ACT +0.5%). Actavis sought approval to sell a generic version of Depomed's postherpetic neuralgia drug Gralise (gabapentin). The court's decision means that Gralise is protected until 2024.
The Federal Trade Commission has given U.S. antitrust approval to Akorn's (NASDAQ:AKRX) acquisition of prescription drug-maker VersaPharm on condition that Akorn sell its rights to make a generic version of the tuberculosis drug rifampin.