Healthcare Review: PROLOR Biotech Inc, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacyclics, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Oncolytics Biotech Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 17:28
Stocks were little changed on Wednesday amid investor caution after the S&P 500 index briefly hit its highest intra-day level since November 2007.

Equities have been strong performers until recently, buoyed largely by healthy growth in corporate earnings, which helped the S&P 500 to rise 6.5 percent so far this year. The Dow industrials are about 1 percent away from an all-time intra-day high, reached in October 2007. Those gains have left the market vulnerable to a pullback as investors are likely to take profit amid a dearth of new catalysts. While analysts see an upward bias in stocks, recent daily moves have been small and trading volumes light with indexes at multi-year highs.

Following are notable movers at mid on Wednesday:

PROLOR Biotech Inc. (NYSEAMEX:PBTH)
shares climbed 3.21% to $5.15 in the early hour after the company today announced that its investigational candidate hGH-CTP, the longer-acting version of human growth hormone for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency, has been granted orphan drug designation by the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency. Pursuant to the status, hGH-CTP is expected to receive 10 years of marketing exclusivity in Europe.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM)
shares dropped 4.19% to $2.03 after the company today announced results from its 70 patient open-label, randomized Phase II clinical trial of bavituximab used in combination with gemcitabine in patients with previously untreated, advanced Stage IV pancreatic cancer. The trial included the enrollment of patients with advanced metastatic disease including significant liver involvement and poor performance status associated with rapid disease progression.

Additionally, PPHM’s stock was downgraded by Zacks from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Feb. 12. They currently have a $2.30 price target on the stock.

Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC)
shares gained 7.79% to $75.85 after the company yesterday announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to the investigational oral agent ibrutinib monotherapy for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and to ibrutinib monotherapy for the treatment of patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), both of which are B-cell malignancies.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN)
shares gained 5.99% to $9.99 in the morning hour. The company announced that Michael Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion, will present a corporate update at the Leerink Swann Global Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. EST at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, NY.

Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:ONCY)
shares climbed 4.20% to $4.22. The company, on Feb. 8, announced results examining percent overall tumour shrinkage data from its U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung or SCCLC using intravenous administration of Reolysin in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel or REO 021. The analysis examined percent best overall tumour changes between pre-treatment and up to six treatment cycles. Of 20 evaluable patients, 19 (95%) exhibited overall tumour shrinkage, (mean (20 patients): 33.7% shrinkage).



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