Healthcare Review: Catamaran Corp, Questcor Pharmaceuticals, CIGNA Corporation, Dynavax Technologies, Immunomedics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 13:21
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday following the Bank of Japan's decision to hold monetary policy steady, but indexes were well off lows as investors took earlier dips in the market as a buying opportunity.   The decision by the BOJ roiled markets across asset classes. U.S. Treasury yields hit fresh 14-month highs, the yen rose sharply and equities dropped globally. The reaction highlighted worries about what will happen when the global stimulus programs eventually go away. Investors have become more nervous in recent weeks over when the U.S. Federal Reserve may slow its measures, which have been a significant driver of the stock market rally. Following are notable movers at mid day on Tuesday:-

 Catamaran Corp. (USA) (NASDAQ:CTRX) shares gained 13.09% to $55.03. Cigna Corp (CI.N) on June 10 signed a 10-year agreement with pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp (CCT.TO) (CTRX.O) and said it expected to record a related charge of about $25 million in the current quarter. The Canadian company had a contract with Medicare provider HealthSpring, which was acquired by Cigna. The contract brought in about a third of Catamaran's 2012 revenue of $9.94 billion.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) shares increased 24.08% to $45.55. The company on June 10 announced the addition of Angus C. Russell, recently-retired Chief Executive Officer of Shire plc, to Questcor's Board of Directors.

Additionally, the company on June 11 acquired rights to develop Synacthen and Synacthen Depot in the U.S. from Novartis AG (NVS, NOVN.VX) in a deal valued at at least $135 million, expanding the biopharmaceutical company's presence in treatments for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. The company paid $60 million upfront to Novartis and will make additional payments of at least a total $75 million over the next several years, as well as any potential milestone payments before receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) stock gained 0.94% to $69.65. The company on June 10 announced it will build on its pharmacy benefits business by entering into a ten-year strategic PBM partnering agreement with Catamaran (NASDAQ: CTRX, TSX: CCT) which combines the customer focus and clinical excellence of Cigna's pharmacy team with the capabilities of Catamaran, and the combined purchasing scale of the two companies.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) shares increased 5.71% to $1.48. The company, on June 10 reported that it recently concluded a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) regarding its Biologic License Application (BLA) for HEPLISAV, an investigational adult hepatitis B vaccine. The meeting followed recommendations expressed in November 2012 by the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) regarding the size of Dynavax's safety database.     

Immunomedics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMMU) shares climbed 0.23% to $4.31. The company on June 10 announced the development of a pretargeting system that can detect and optically image a tumor during surgery. Results from this preclinical study were presented by Dr. Mark Rijpkema of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Additionally, the company on June 10 announced that Immunomedics and UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB), a global biopharmaceutical company with a focus on immunology treatment and research, will present new data for their investigational studies of epratuzumab in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2013 Congress to be held in Madrid, Spain, from June 12 - 15, 2013.



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