Healthcare Stocks in Focus on Monday

by: Alex Shadunsky

Healthcare stocks saw a lot of action on Monday as there was M&A news as well as more company releases on product candidates.

Pain Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTIE) and Durect (NASDAQ:DRRX) tumbled for the second day in a row, after Pain Therapeutics released additional information on the Remoxy FDA Complete Response Letter received last week. The company said that the FDA's Complete Response Letter raised concerns related to, among other matters, the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls section of the NDA for REMOXY. Certain drug lots showed inconsistent release performance during in vitro testing. In the opinion of Pain Therapeutics, potential regulatory approval of Remoxy in the U.S. is unlikely to occur in less than one year and could be delayed significantly longer than a year.

MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) was in the green after the company announced that the findings of two separate studies further substantiate that treatment with the investigational ultra rapid acting mealtime insulin Afrezza (insulin human [rDNA origin]) Inhalation Powder does not result in excess cardiovascular events in type 1 or type 2 diabetes patients. Furthermore, results demonstrate that inhaled AFREZZA did not produce clinically significant effects on heart rate, PR and QRS interval duration, or cardiac morphology.

Icagen (NASDAQ:ICGN) was up more than 100% after in a filing, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said that as part of Pfizer's ongoing evaluation of the possible extension or other modification of the existing collaboration agreement between the parties, it is evaluating the possibility of entering into a strategic transaction with Icagen, which could have the effect of influencing or changing the control of Icagen by means of a stock or asset acquisition or merger, Icagen acknowledged that it is currently engaged in preliminary discussions with Pfizer regarding a potential strategic transaction.

Continucare (NYSE:CNU) saw a lot of buying after Metropolitan Health Networks (MDF) and the company announced jointly that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Metropolitan will acquire Continucare in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $416 million at the time of announcement. The transaction will create a company that provides care to over 68,000 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid customers. The combined company will own 31 primary care medical practices, utilize a network of more than 250 contracted, independent, primary care practices and will operate in 18 Florida counties, including the Daytona, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Tampa metropolitan areas.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.