Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Biotech/ Pharma News Digest (August 30): $PTLA, $RIGL, $CEMP And More...

We revised the suggested allocation in the model portfolio of this research service. 51% of the capital is allocated to emerging biotech/ pharma companies while 49% of the portfolio is in cash. We expect a market pullback lasting 6-8 weeks (maybe starting after Labor Day) and are updating our watchlist of companies to invest in at lower prices after this pullback.

Model Portfolio: for premium service subscribers only.

We expect to send a trade alert (with price target/valuation for the next investment idea (emerging immuno-oncology company) by end of the day (Thursday) and the full research report by Friday evening (on the premium research service).

Today's Macroeconomic data:

Case-Schiller Home prices index ((June)) fell today for the third straight month. State Street Investor confidence index for August fell by 8.3 points to 89.7. On the contrary, there was some good news as the U.S. consumer confidence (for August) jumped by 4.5 points. Equity volume remains light as the end of summer approaches.

Key economic data expected tomorrow includes monthly ADP employment report (August) at 8.15 am, monthly Chicago PMI (August) at 9.45 am, pending home sales index (July) at 10 am and weekly EIA Petroleum status report at 10.30 am.

S&P 500 Index trend: for premium service subscribers only.

Note: We closely watch the macroeconomic data and overall market trend since most sectors have a positive correlation with the overall market direction. This is called a top-down approach to investing (starting with broad macroeconomic environment and then narrowing to individual sectors and companies).

Today's Biotech/ pharma sector headlines:

Here is a summary of what we are watching in the sector today.

- *Portola Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PTLA), our portfolio company, announced successful data from ANNEXA-4 (Andexanet to reverse anticoagulant action of factor Xa inhibitors). 79% patients achieved good bleeding control at 12 hours after the infusion. 18% patients developed thrombotic events during the 30-day followup period. Press release.

- Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RIGL) today announced successful phase 3 clinical trial for fostamatinib, its oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, for the treatment of adult chronic/persistent immune thrombocytopenia (NYSEMKT:ITP). Company shares were up about 49%. Press release

- Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) announced it has completed the rolling submission of the New Drug Application (NDA) for its investigational anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, brigatinib, to the FDA for treatment of metastatic ALK-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (resistant or intolerant to crizotinib).

- Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO) announced that a phase 2 study of MDCO-216, its anticholesterol drug did not meet the study end-point.

- *Cempra (NASDAQ:CEMP), our portfolio company, announced that FDA Ad Comm date set on November 24 for approval of Solithromycin to treat community acquired bacterial pneumonia. We will post an updated price target tomorrow on premium service since shares have met our first price target already.

- Relypsa (NASDAQ:RLYP) announces successful phase 4 study of Valtessa in treatment of hyperkalemia. This post-marketing study showed no effect on drug absorption when taken with food. Press release. Relypsa has been one of our firm's top profitable trades this year.

- Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX) signs deal with Valeant Canada (NYSE:VRX) to commercialize Contrave, its treatment for weight-loss in obesity, in Canada. Orexigen shares were up 4.2%. Press release

- Array BioPharma (NASDAQ:ARRY) announced successful results from a Phase 2 study of ARRY-797, an oral, selective p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor, in patients with lamin A/C-related dilated cardiomyopathy (LMNA-related DCM), a rare cardiovascular disease. The stock was up 4.6%. Press release.

- *Kamada (NASDAQ:KMDA) announces successful phase 2 trial in treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The stock was up about 8%. We have added the company to our watchlist. The stock is already too extended for buying at present. Press release

- Novartis (NYSE:NVS) announces FDA approval of its biosimilar drug for Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) Enbrel (etanerecept), a drug commonly used in inflammatory disorders.

Analyst ratings: We use these ratings as starting point for our own research.

- *Rigel Pharma : Piper Jeffrey, reiterated Buy today, price target $11.

- *Karyopharm (NASDAQ:KPTI): upgraded to Buy, PT $12 (Jefferies), up-coming multiple myeloma data in September.

More analyst ratings (issued today) for premium service subscribers only.

Insider buying:

New addition today. for premium service subscribers only.

Existing Proprietary Lists

(insider buying spotlight, our watchlist, bottom-fishing stocks, up-coming catalyst etc.)

for premium service subscribers only.

LINK to subscribe to Vasuda Healthcare Analytics, our premium research service on Seeking Alpha (link also given at end of this post).

Disclosure: This article represents my own opinion and is not a substitute for professional investment advice. It does not represent solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investors should do their own research and consult their financial advisor before making any investment.

Disclosure: I am/we are long PTLA, CEMP.