Intercept Pharmaceuticals Soars 20%, Possible Short Squeeze; Vital Therapies Announces VTI-208 Phase 3 Clinical Trial Reaches Enrollment Target Print
By Marilyn Mullen   
Friday, 30 January 2015 20:20
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on January 30, 2015.

Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) soared more than 20 percent Friday following a favorable FDA ruling on Thursday.  Helping to drive the stock’s large move may have been a short squeeze. At last report, 22.72 percent of the stock’s float was short.

Ahead of the positive news, short interest had increased 8.45 percent from the previous two-week reporting period.

With such a large percentage of the shares shorted, many traders may be buying shares today to cover their positions.  Intercept Pharmaceuticals recently traded at $209.41, up 22.7 percent.


 
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Vital Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq:VTL)
, a biotherapeutic company developing ELAD®, a human cell-based therapy targeting treatment of acute liver failure, announced achievement of the 200 subject enrollment target in VTI-208, the Company's randomized, controlled, open-label Phase 3 clinical trial in alcohol induced liver decompensation.

"Executing on VTI-208 has been our primary focus over the last two years at about 50 leading hospitals in the U.S., Europe and Australia," said Terry Winters, Ph.D., the Company's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman. "We are grateful to all of our investigators and their staffs who worked diligently to enroll and care for the targeted subjects. We would also like to thank the patients and their families for their willingness to participate in this important trial. Thanks to them, we remain on track to announce topline data in the second quarter of 2015. We will now turn our focus to enrollment in VTI-210, our second Phase 3 trial in severe acute alcoholic hepatitis (AAH), and VTI-212, our phase 2 trial in other forms of acute liver failure."

VTI-208 is a randomized, controlled, open-label Phase 3 clinical trial in alcohol induced liver decompensation. The 200th subject was enrolled on January 28, 2015. A small number of additional subjects already in the active screening process may be enrolled over the next few days. The trial's primary endpoint is overall survival up to at least study day 91. 

VTI-210, the Company's second Phase 3 trial, is a randomized, controlled, open-label study evaluating the ELAD system in severe AAH patients who have failed standard therapy. This trial targets enrollment of a minimum of 150 subjects with a primary endpoint of overall survival up to at least study day 91.  The Company expects topline data from this trial in 2016.

Separately, the Company will be participating in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony taking place at 4 PM ET on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the NASDAQ MarketSite Broadcast Studio, 4 Times Square, New York, NY.


 
Also Friday:


 
Avinger, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVGR)
today announced the pricing of its underwritten initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.00 per share.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:BMRN)
announced today the final results of, and the completion of the subsequent offering period relating to, the previously announced tender offer by its subsidiaries, BioMarin Falcons B.V. and BioMarin Giants B.V. (together, "Purchaser"), to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Prosensa Holding N.V. (Nasdaq:RNA) at a purchase price of $17.75 per share, net to the seller in cash (the "Cash Consideration"), plus one non-transferrable contingent value right to receive cash payments of up to $4.14 per share in the aggregate upon the achievement of certain product approval milestones ("CVR"), in each case, without interest thereon and less any applicable withholding taxes.

Calithera Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:CALA)
, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on discovering and
developing novel small molecule drugs directed against tumor metabolism and

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tumor immunology targets for the treatment of cancer, announced today the appointment of Dr. Keith Orford, M.D. Ph.D., as Vice President of Clinical Development.

Chimerix, Inc. (Nasdaq:CMRX)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, oral antivirals in areas of high unmet medical need, today announced that after discussion with the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration, the company is ceasing further participation in all current and future clinical studies of brincidofovir for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), including the study announced in December in Liberia sponsored by investigators at the University of Oxford and the supportive Phase 2 study of brincidofovir for EVD, Study 205.

Corium International, Inc. (Nasdaq:CORI)
, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacture and commercialization of specialty transdermal products, today announced that Peter Staple, Corium's President and Chief Executive Officer, will present at the 2015 Leerink Global Healthcare Conference, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel.

IPC Healthcare, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPCM)
, a leading national acute hospitalist and post-acute provider organization, announced today that it has acquired selected assets of Hospitalists Now, Inc. (HNI) in the Jacksonville, Florida market.

KLAS Research named Allscripts (Nasdaq:MDRX)
Sunrise™ Clinical Manager as 2014 Best in KLAS Global (Non-US) Acute EMR and Category Leader, Global Acute EMR – Northern America (Canada) in the 2014 Best in KLAS: Global Software (Non-US) report.

Lipocine Inc. (Nasdaq:LPCN)
, a specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that data from a successful Phase 1 study of LPCN 1107, the company's oral hydroxyprogesterone caproate ("HPC") product candidate will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine 35th Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

LYDALL, INC. (NYSE:LDL)
announced today that it has completed the sale of Charter Medical, Ltd. ("Charter Medical"), a leading designer and manufacturer of specialty single-use products utilized in blood management, blood filtration and biopharmaceutical applications for the collection, processing, and storage of biological fluids.

Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:MTNB)
, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of lipid-based prescription therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular conditions and the treatment of infectious diseases, announced today that it has acquired all of the outstanding stock of Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc. (Aquarius), an innovative bio-delivery drug discovery company with a novel and proprietary lipid-crystal nano-particle cochleate formulation technology platform.

Medgenics, Inc. (NYSE:MDGN)
will host a conference call and live audio webcast on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results.

Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (Nasdaq:OXFD)
, a global, commercial-stage diagnostics company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary tests for the management of immune-regulated conditions, today announced its underwritten offering of 4,255,319 ordinary shares priced at $11.75 per share.

Premier, Inc. (Nasdaq:PINC)
plans to report fiscal 2015 second-quarter financial results after the market closes on Monday, February 9, 2015, followed by a conference call at 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss the results.

Prosensa Holding N.V. (Nasdaq:RNA)
, the biopharmaceutical company focusing on RNA-modulating therapeutics for rare diseases with high unmet need, announced today that it intends to voluntarily delist the registered shares of the Company, nominal value €0.01 per share (the "Shares"), from the NASDAQ Global Select Market ("NASDAQ").

Quotient Limited (Nasdaq:QTNT)
, a commercial-stage diagnostics company, today announced that financial results for its fiscal third quarter ending December 31, 2014 will be released after market close on Monday, February 2nd, 2015.

Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:STML)
, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing oncology therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) and tumor bulk, announced today that SL-701 has received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of glioma.

Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCRA)
today announced that it expects to release results for its fourth quarter 2014 on Thursday, February 12 after market close.




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