Healthcare review: Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, MAKO Surgical, BIOLASE Inc, CombiMatrix, Achillion Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 07 January 2013 15:43
Stocks fell on Monday as investors cashed in recent gains that lifted the S&P 500 to a five-year high and awaited the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season.

Earnings are expected to be only slightly better than the third-quarter's lackluster results, and analysts' current estimates are down sharply from where they were in October.

Following are the notable movers at mid day on Monday:

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM)
soared 77%  after the company says data on its experimental cancer drug bavituximab was not completely compromised by errors in a mid-stage trial. An internal review found the errors to concern only the lowest dose and placebo arms of the study. This means the drug should be able to enter into a late-stage trial, and PPHM is preparing for discussions with the FDA. PPHM had been tight-lipped about the trial errors since being discovered in September, which had caused shares to plunge.

MAKO Surgical Corp.(NASDAQ:MAKO)
fell 5.020% to $11.37 after saying that it sold 15 of its Rio surgical systems in Q4 and 45 in 2012, taking the total installed based to 156. The number of orthopedic MAKOplasty procedures performed +29% Y/Y to 2,904 in Q4. Sells 11 MAKOplasty Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) applications, of which three were sold to existing customers. THA procedures performed +31% Q/Q.

Shares of BIOLASE Inc(NASDAQ:BIOL) soared 24.50% after posting upbeat Q4 guidance, now expecting revenues above $18M, primarily due to the increased demand for its flagship WaterLase iPlus and its new EPIC 10 soft tissue diode laser. The company also noted that it's expecting a substantial acceleration in the adoption of lasers over the next few years. Analysts are looking for $17.9M in revenues, putting the company's projection in-line to just slightly ahead of estimates.

CombiMatrix Corporation(NASDAQ:CBMX)
’s decision to shift its focus to prenatal testing and away from oncology looks to be bearing fruit, with the company saying that it achieved preliminary annual growth rates of 172% in Q4 and 171% in the full year for prenatal diagnoses. Overall testing grew 21% and 25% respectively. Shares of the company rose 14.80%.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ACHN)
slumped 9% after the company’s ACH-3102 medicine for chronic hepatitis C viral infections, in combination with antiviral drug ribavirin, has performed well so far in a Phase 2a study of 8 patients. The treatment "resulted in the rapid reduction in HCV RNA accompanied by normalization of liver enzymes." The combo also appears to be safe and well tolerated.

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