Healthcare Review: Support.com, VIVUS, Sequenom, St. Jude Medical, XenoPort Are Notable Movers Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:51
U.S. stocks were flat on Wednesday as consumer sentiment stalled because of growing uncertainty over federal tax and spending plans next year and the absence of a deal by international lenders on emergency aid for Greece.

Other U.S. economic data came in as expected, such as initial weekly claims for jobless benefits, depriving the market of any clear direction. Euro zone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank failed for a second week to agree on how to make Greece's debt sustainable, which is necessary before the next cash infusion can be made to the fiscally beleaguered nation.

Following are the notable movers at mid day on Wednesday:

Medgenics Inc. (NYSEAMEX:MDGN)
gets a pop today and rose 12% after beinggranted a patent by the USPTO protecting the use of the company's Epodure Biopump technology for the treatment of anemia. The patent agency also allowed claims covering a similar method for delivery underlying it's Hemodure Biopump technology for sustained prophylactic treatment of hemophilia. MDGN's global portfolio now includes 36 patents issued, with 81 more pending. Comment!

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)
stock jumped 10.72% to $11.48 after health insurer Aetna said it would cover the medications for certain patients. Aetna Inc. said in a policy update Tuesday that it would cover Vivus' Qsymia and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Bleviq, as "medically necessary" obesity treatments for patients whose policies don't exclude such drugs. Aetna is the third-largest commercial health insurer based on enrollment in the U.S.

Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM)
shares climbed 8.40% to $4 in the early hour. The company reported third quarter revenue of $22.9 million, an increase of 25% from revenue of $18.3 million in the second quarter of 2012 and a 68% increase compared to revenue of $13.6 million for the third quarter of 2011.  Net loss for the third quarter of 2012 grew to $30.2 million, or $0.26 per share, resulting from an increase in costs associated primarily with the growth in testing volume of the MaterniT21 PLUS LDT.  This compares to a net loss of $18.4 million, or $0.19 per share for the same period in 2011.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ)
shares declined 10.81% to $31.84 in the morning hour. The company announced it has received European CE Mark approval for its 23 mm Portico Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve and Transfemoral Delivery System. Designed for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are considered to be inoperable or high risk for conventional open-heart valve replacement surgery, the Portico valve is implanted through a small incision in the femoral artery.

XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNPT)
stock fell 3.96% to $7.76. XenoPort and GlaxoSmithKline PLC agreed to terminate their Horizant collaboration agreement, which gave GSK marketing and certain development rights in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved Horizant, or gabapentin enacarbil, extended-release tablets in June for the management of postherpetic neuralgia in adults. Postherpetic neuralgia is pain that lasts for more than a month after a shingles infection occurred.



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