Healthcare Review: Idenix Pharmaceuticals & Pfizer Inc Fall, Blyth & Pluristem Jump Print E-mail
By M.E.Garza   
Thursday, 16 August 2012 14:19
icon_MarketReportUPU.S stock jumped Thursday as a boost from the tech sector countered disappointing regional manufacturing data. Earlier, stocks retreated to session lows after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its manufacturing index was negative for the fourth straight month, with a reading that fell short of forecasts. Several healthcare stocks are making notable news at mid day on Thursday:

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDIX) stock plunged 31.17% to $5.70 after the company announced that it has received verbal notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA that a partial clinical hold has been placed on IDX184, the Company's nucleotide polymerase inhibitor under development for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Blyth, Inc. (NYSE:BTH) shares soared 24.02% to $46 in the morning hour after the company announced that ViSalus has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential Initial Public Offering ("IPO") of its Class A common stock. The registration statement has been filed by FVA Ventures, Inc., which will be renamed ViSalus, Inc. in connection with the IPO. Following the IPO, Blyth will continue to own over 50% of ViSalus' common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Pluristem (NASDAQ:PSTI) shares rose over 7% to $4.68 after the company announced that it had received permission from the Indian Ministry of Health to proceed with a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of Buerger's disease(thromboangiitis obliterans). The Phase II trial will be potentially followed by a larger multi-national Phase III study in the U.S., Europe and India.

Medivation, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDVN) stock gained 1.21% to $99.46 after Medivation and Astellas Pharma announced the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine of the results from the Phase 3 AFFIRM trial, an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of enzalutamide (formerly MDV3100) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have been previously treated with docetaxel-based chemotherapy.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) stock fell 1.26% to $3.92. The company on August 14, 2012, was downgraded by analysts at WBB Securities from a buy rating to a hold rating. WBB Securities currently has $4.40 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of $8.50.

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) shares climbed 0.33% to $6.01 in the early hour. The company posted second quarter net loss of $(14.0) million, or $(0.13) per share, as compared with a net income for the second quarter of 2011 of $3.1 million, or $0.03 per share. Revenues for the second quarter of 2012 were $7.8 million, compared to $23.2 million for the second quarter of 2011.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shares declined0.12% to $24.01 in the morning hour after the company announced that it has commenced a consent solicitation to amend certain provisions of the indentures governing the outstanding debt securities (the Securities) of Pharmacia Corporation, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

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