Healthcare Review: StemCells, MELA Sciences, Unilife Corp, Eli Lilly & Co, ZIOPHARM Oncology Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 14:09
U.S. stocks edged higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 holding near multi-year highs ahead of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, as housing stocks advanced.

The economy will be a major topic of Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress set for 9 p.m. (0200 GMT Wednesday). Investors will listen for any clues on a deal with Republicans to avert automatic spending cuts due to take effect March 1, including the tone of the speech. The White House has signaled Obama, in his speech, will urge U.S. investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education. He is also expected to call for comprehensive trade talks with the European Union.

Following are notable movers at mid day on Tuesday:

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM)
jumps 25% after announcing that 12-month data from the first patient cohort in its Phase I/II clinical trial of a stem-cell treatment for chronic spinal-cord injury showed positive results, with gains in sensory function observed in two of the three patients at the six-month assessment mark persisting.

MELA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:MELA)
fell 10% to $1.52 after the medical-devices company prices a stock-offering of 6.1M shares at $1.30 each, well below the firm's close yesterday of $1.69. MELA plans to use the net proceeds of $7.3M for the launch of its MelaFind skin-cancer product in the U.S. and EU, and for R&D. MELA also says it's signed a term sheet with a VC lender for a 3.5 year loan of up to $10M at interest of 10.45%/year.

Unilife Corp. (NASDAQ:UNIS)
takes a hit this morning despite beating FQ2 bottom line estimates late yesterday. The developer and commercial supplier of injectable drug delivery systems reported an adjusted Q2 loss of $0.12 per share, versus the $0.13 loss per share that analysts were expecting, but revenues came in at just $700K compared with $900K for the same period last year, and below the Street view of $2.01M. Shares of the company slid over 5%.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)
has no plans to spin off or sell its Elanco animal health unit, CEO John Lechleite said yesterday. "We're comfortable with that business and we're going to keep it," said Lechleite, whose comments come after Pfizer recently raised $2.2B in an IPO of its animal-health subsidiary. While Lilly's 2012 total sales fell 7%, revenue at Elanco climbed 21% to $2B.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc.(NASDAQ:ZIOP)
soars 18.50% after saying its palifosfamide (ZIO-201) treatment performed well in patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma in a Phase III trial, with the drug reaching its target number for progression-free survival. The company will release full results in March.



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