Movers and Shakers Include Two Flu Stocks (AMEX:SVA) (NASDAQ:BCRX) Print E-mail
By M.E.Garza   
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 05:16

Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness continue to increase in the United States according to the latest reports from the CDC and as H1N1 continues to be a growing concern around the globe, so called "Flu Stocks" will likely continue to rise- just as they do in non-pandemic years.

On Tuesday, shares of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (AMEX: SVA) jumped up $0.81 or 10.83% to end the day at $8.29 after its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong) Ltd,  received the Certificate of Approval to distribute Panflu (H5N1), its H5N1 (bird flu) pandemic influenza vaccine, in Hong Kong.

 

H1N1 Flu Stocks

Sinovac's certificate is valid through September 13, 2014 and thereafter will be renewable for periods of five years at a time, subject to payment of the registration fee.  Just last week, Sinovac announced that it had received its second purchase order for its H1N1 vaccine, PANFLU.1, from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China for the national stockpiling plan. Under this purchase order, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is required to produce an additional three million doses of PANFLU.1 (15ug/0.5ml), Sinovac Biotech Ltd.'s H1N1 vaccine for the central government.

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:BCRX), which had been declining in recent weeks, closed up to $8.92+0.61 (7.34%) and continued trading higher after hours after a JMP Securities analyst initiated coverage with an "Outperform" rating, citing revenue potential for the company's flu treatment peramivir and cancer drug forodesine.

JMP analyst Charles C. Duncan gave BioCryst shares an "Outperform" rating and expects shares to reach $15 apiece over the next 12 months as the biotechnology company shifts into a revenue-producing operation. "We anticipate a share price inflection point with the company's transition into a revenue-driven biotech over the next 12 to 24 months as it develops and markets lead drugs peramivir and forodesine," the analyst told Forbes magazine. BioCryst shares of the company had been declining in recent weeks after rumors that the company might be deal-shopping to raise cash.

On the losing side, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:SPPI) continued to slide and closed at $4.56-0.36 (-7.32%). Days ago, Spectrum announced that it has received a Complete Response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for FUSILEV (levoleucovorin) for injection for treatment of patients with advanced metastatic colorectal cancer.

FDA officials said the submission did not demonstrate that FUSILEV is non-inferior to leucovorin; and recommended that Spectrum meet with them to discuss options for continuing to seek approval of FUSILEV in advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals officials plan to promptly reply to that request in order to discuss options this indication.

Performance for the shares of the company have been a disappointment to investors and it may take some early sales figure reports for ZEVALIN- from SPPI's recently expanded indication of the 2002 FDA approval as treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma- to turn things around.

In similar fashion, DepoMed, Inc.(NASDAQ:DEPO) continued it's slide- $3.70-0.27 (-6.80%) -into the close and after hours as shares are still absorbing the bad news from Monday, when DepoMed officials announced today top-line results from the BREEZE 1 and 2 Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of SeradaTM, an investigational non-hormonal extended release formulation of gabapentin for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes. DepoMed reported its treatment for hot flashes largely failed to reach trial endpoints after 12 weeks, with results versus placebo tailing off after showing outperformance after four weeks.

On Wednesday, shares of  biopharmaceutical company Allos Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ:ALTH) may continue to drop as the company said Tuesday it has completed a public offering of 14 million shares of common stock, generating net proceeds of about $93 million. Fear of dillution may send the stock price slightly lower before it finds a new bottom.

Allos had originally offered 11 million shares, but then expanded the offering to 14 million. It priced the offering at $7.10 apiece after the market closed Oct. 5. According to company officials, proceeds will be used to fund marketing, research and development of Allos' cancer treatment Folotyn. The Food and Drug Administration approved Folotyn on Sept. 25 as a treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma, and Allos expects to start selling Folotyn later this month.  More information about upcoming FDA approvals may be found in the BioMedReports FDA Calendar.

Here are the rest of Tuesday's Top Gainers and Losers in Healthcare:

Gainers (% price change) Last Change

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
SVA 8.29 +0.81 (10.83%)
Tongjitang Chinese TCM 4.35 +0.42 (10.69%)
Assisted Living Concepts ALC 22.78 +1.61 (7.61%)
Targacept , Inc. TRGT 19.51 +1.37 (7.55%)
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals BCRX 8.92 +0.61 (7.34%)

Losers (% price change)

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals
SPPI 4.56 -0.36 (-7.32%)
DepoMed, Inc. DEPO 3.70 -0.27 (-6.80%)
Abaxis, Inc. ABAX 24.23 -1.36 (-5.31%)
Geron Corporation GERN 6.51 -0.36 (-5.24%)
Affymetrix, Inc. AFFX 9.37 -0.46 (-4.68%)

Most Actives (dollar volume)

Johnson & Johnson
JNJ 61.01 -1.52 (-2.43%)
Pfizer Inc. PFE 16.78 -0.32 (-1.87%)
Merck & Co., Inc. MRK 32.42 -0.44 (-1.34%)
Wyeth WYE 49.16 -0.09 (-0.18%)
Schering-Plough Corp. SGP 28.56 -0.26 (-0.90%)

 




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