Healthcare Review: Idera Pharmaceuticals , Hemispherx BioPharma, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Health Net, Gentium Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:39
U.S. stocks barely budged on Wednesday as stalled "fiscal cliff" negotiations gave investors little reason to keep buying following the best two-day rally for the S&P 500 in a month.

Talks on avoiding the tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to come into effect in the New Year are at a standstill amid a Republican plan to vote on extending tax cuts for all but those making $1 million or more, senior administration officials said.

Following are the notable movers at mid day on Wednesday:

Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IDRA)
stock surged 27.27% to $0.980. The company announced that 48% of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (12 of 25) treated with IMO-3100, a selective antagonist of Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) 7 and 9, demonstrated improvements in Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) scores of 35% to 90% from baseline at the completion of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2a clinical trial of two dose levels of IMO-3100 administered for four weeks, with a four-week follow-up period. None of the 12 placebo-treated patients had improvement in this range; this difference was statistically significant (p<0.005).

Hemispherx BioPharma, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:HEB)
stock increased 5.98% to $0.390. Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is investigating potential claims on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Hemispherx Biopharma.  The investigation focuses on whether the Company and its executives violated federal securities laws.
On December 18, 2012, shares of Hemispherx fell over 27 cents or 42.86% to close at $0.368 after a government report questioned whether the company’s treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome works.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX)
shares climbed 0.85% to $43.70 in the early hour. The company announced that its hepatitis C drug INCIVEK or telaprevir, in the United States, will hereafter carry a boxed warning stating fatal and non-fatal serious skin reactions have been reported in patients taking INCIVEK combination treatment. Rash and serious skin reactions are known adverse effects associated with the treatment and thus have already found a place in the safety and precautions column.

Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT)
shares declined 2.42% to $25.04 in the morning hour. The company announced its 2013 annual guidance of $2.00 to $2.10 for GAAP earnings per diluted share. HNT expects its consolidated revenues for the combined Western Region Operations (Western Region) and Government Contracts segments in 2013 will be between approximately $10.7 billion and $11.2 billion.

Gentium S.p.A. (ADR)(NASDAQ:GENT)
stock increased 6.16% to $11.90. The company announced that additional data from ongoing trials of Defibrotide were presented this week at the 54th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.



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