Healthcare review: Orexigen Therapeutics, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics & Merge Healthcare Soar, Warner Chilcott Slump Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 06 September 2012 14:27
U.S. stocks soared on Thursday with The S&P 500 index jumped to over 4-year highs as investors cheered a new bond-buying program in Europe aimed at containing the region's debt crisis and signs of improvement in the U.S. labor market.
ECB President Mario Draghi, seeking to back up his July pledge to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro, said the central bank's new plan of potentially unlimited bond-buying would address bond market distortions and "unfounded" fears of investors about the survival of the euro. Several healthcare stocks are making notable news at mid day on Thursday:

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM)
stock gained 0.94% to $2.15 after the company announced that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has approved an award to the Company for up to $20 million under CIRM's Disease Team Therapy Development Award program (RFA 10-05). The award is to fund preclinical development of StemCells' HuCNS-SC product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) in Alzheimer's disease over a maximum four-year period, with the goal of filing an investigational new drug (IND) application for a clinical trial in that time.

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX)
stock climbed 11.61% to $5.48. The company said that in the fourth quarter, it expects to complete enrollment in an interim study of cardiovascular risks associated with its weight-loss treatment Contrave, earlier than its previously projected time frame of first quarter next year.  

Additionally, the company announced an update to the projected timeframe for enrollment of patients in the Light Study, the cardiovascular outcomes clinical trial evaluating Contrave® (naltrexone SR/ bupropion SR).

Merge Healthcare Inc.(NASDAQ:MRGE)
shares jumped 8.23% to $3.48 after the company announced that Board of Directors has retained Allen & Company LLC, a New York-based investment bank, to assist in exploring and evaluating a broad range of strategic alternatives, including, but not limited to, a sale of the Company or a business combination.

Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX)
stock fell 9.65% to $12.82 after the company announced a secondary offering of its ordinary shares by certain selling shareholders. The offering is being conducted as a public offering pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933. The Company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares. Citigroup is acting as the sole underwriter for the offering.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd (NYSE AMEX:IMUC) stock jumped 10% to $3.19 after Maxim Group assumed coverage on shares of IMUC in a research note issued to investors today and the firm issued a buy rating and a $18.00 target price on the stock. The 52 week trading range for the company is $0.98 - $4.00.

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