Healthcare Review: Myriad Genetics, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Cepheid, CombiMatrix Corporation, Pluristem Therapeutics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 13:15
U.S. stocks advanced for a second straight day on Wednesday as a broad measure of economic growth was revised down, easing investors' concerns that the Federal Reserve would begin to withdraw its stimulus early. The economy grew 1.8 percent in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department's final estimate of gross domestic product. That was well below expectations for 2.4 percent growth. While the data is backward-looking and includes the start of cutbacks in federal spending, analysts said it could influence the Fed as it considers whether the economy is strong enough for it to begin scaling back its bond-buying.

Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYGN) shares gained 1.73% to $26.42. The company on June 24 announced that it has signed an agreement with TESARO, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSRO) to conduct BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation testing on patients to be enrolled in two separate Phase III clinical studies with niraparib. Niraparib is a novel, orally active poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, or PARP, inhibitor.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) stock climbed 0.37% to $8.12. Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., on June 20 announced that data from the BELVIQ(R) (lorcaserin HCl) Phase 3 clinical trial program will be presented at the American Diabetes Association's 73rd Scientific Sessions on June 21-25, 2013. BELVIQ is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. The exact mechanism of action of BELVIQ is not known.

Additionally, Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) received a price target upgrade on June 11 from Pipe Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff from $9 to $12.50 representing a price target increase of almost 40% and a potential move of about 50% from current trading levels.

Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD) shares gained 2.83% to $34.38. Equities researchers at Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of CPHD in a research report issued on June 26. The firm set an “outperform” rating on the stock.

Additionally, the company on May 7 announced that it has appointed Warren C. Kocmond to the position of Executive Vice President, Global Operations, effective May 6, 2013. Mr. Kocmond joins Cepheid from Lam Research Corporation, where he most recently served as Vice President of Global Operations, responsible for globally dispersed operations including a multi-billion dollar supply chain.

CombiMatrix Corporation (NASDAQ:CBMX) shares dropped 13.80% to $3.34. The company, on June 25, announced that its chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) test for miscarriage analysis has received conditional approval from the New York State's Department of Health for testing on patient samples from the state. With nearly 20 million people, New York is the third most populated state in the nation, behind only California and Texas.

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI) stock increased 3% to $3.09. The company on June 19 provided an update on the status of its clinical trials in Intermittent Claudication (IC). As previously announced, on June 4, 2013 the company received notification from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that its U.S. phase II IC trial was put on hold following the hospitalization of a patient with an allergic reaction in the company's IC trial in the United States.

Additionally, the company on June 20 announced that preclinical results for its Placental eXpanded (PLX) RAD cells in the treatment of bone marrow disease have been published in peer reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

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