Healthcare Review: VIVUS, ZIOPHARM Oncology, Intuitive Surgical, Pfizer Inc, AVEO Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 24 May 2013 19:32

U.S. stocks traded lower, paring earlier losses, as investors weighed the prospects for central-bank policy and recent volatility in global markets. U.S. stocks' rally to all-time highs has some investors looking to trim holdings and lock in profits, market participants say. Adding to that compulsion this week, Federal Reserve officials tried to explain their thinking about the eventual tapering of stimulus measures that have bolstered stocks. As well, big swings in Japan's Nikkei Stock Average, which reverberated in stock markets around the globe, lead to volatility rarely seen in recent months. Following are notable movers at mid day on Friday:-

VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS) shares gained 3.32% to $14.98. The company on May 16 announced the pricing of its offering of $220 million aggregate principal amount of 4.50% convertible senior unsecured notes due May 1, 2020 (the "Notes") in a private placement pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"). VIVUS has granted to the initial purchasers a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $30 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes. The offering is expected to close on or about May 21, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.

Additionally, the company on May 8 provided a business update and reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, net product revenues from sales of Qsymia were $4.1 million. For the first quarter of 2013, the company reported a net loss of $53.6 million or $0.53 net loss per share, as compared to a net loss $18.8 million or $0.20 net loss per share during the first quarter of 2012.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) shares increased 39.11% to $2.81. The company, on May 7, announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, and provided an update on the Company's key developments. ZIOPHARM reported a GAAP net loss of $12.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, or $(0.15) per share, compared to a GAAP net loss of $24.5 million, or $(0.32) per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc.(NASDAQ:ISRG) shares increased 5.48% to $502.72. The company prevailed in a civil lawsuit that accused it of negligence in its training of doctors using the company's surgical robot machines, a victory as it looks to counter criticisms that its da Vinci machines are unsafe and too costly.

The suit, filed in Kitsap County in Washington state, had sought $8.45 million in compensatory damages in connection to the death of Fred Taylor, who had his prostate gland removed with a da Vinci robot in 2008 and died four years later. The plaintiffs alleged that complications that occurred during the surgery were the cause of Mr. Taylor's death.

Pfizer Inc.(NYSE:PFE) shares declined 0.58% to $28.95. Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) on May 22 announced it intends to file a Registration Statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today in connection with the proposed exchange offer announced by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). As part of the offer, Pfizer shareholders will be able to exchange all, some or none of their shares of Pfizer common stock for shares of Zoetis common stock.

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:AVEO) shares decreased 2.59% to $2.63. The company on May 23 said it was informed by its partner Astellas Pharma Inc that the Japanese company would not be seeking marketing approval for their experimental kidney cancer drug in Europe. Astellas does not intend to fund any future studies of the drug, tivozanib, in renal cell cancer.

Additionally, the company, on April 30, said its first-quarter loss loss was $34.1 million, compared with a loss of $33.2 million a year earlier. The per-share loss narrowed to 69 cents from 77 cents in the most-recent quarter. Collaboration revenue dropped 62% to $323,000. Analysts had most recently forecast a per-share loss of 72 cents on revenue of $2 million.

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