Healthcare Review: Verastem, Regulus Therapeutics, St. Jude Medical, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 15:03
U.S. stocks rose, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index snapped an eight-day rally yesterday, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank’s asset purchases are not on a preset course. Bernanke said the central bank’s bond purchases “are by no means on a preset course” and could be reduced more quickly or expanded as economic conditions warrant.

Verastem Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) shares dropped 10.92% to $15.09 in the early hour. The company on July 17 announced the pricing of its previously announced underwritten public offering of 3,700,000 shares of its common stock, offered at a price of $15.00 per share to the public. The net proceeds to Verastem from this offering are expected to be approximately $51.9 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by Verastem. All of the shares sold in the offering will be sold by Verastem. The offering is expected to close on or about July 22, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLS) shares fell 5.99% to $10.05. The company on July 17 announced the pricing of a public offering of 4,500,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $9.50 per share. The gross proceeds to Regulus from this offering are expected to be approximately $42.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by Regulus. The offering is expected to close on or about July 22, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) shares gained 6.91% to $51.82. The company on July 17 posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue as sales of devices to treat abnormal heart rhythms improved from earlier this year.

The company said its second-quarter net income fell to $115 million, or 40 cents per share, from $244 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier, primarily due to costs from the early retirement of debt. Earnings excluding special items were 96 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average had expected 94 cents. The company said net sales declined slightly to $1.40 billion from $1.41 billion as the U.S. dollar strengthened against the yen and euro, reducing the value of overseas revenue.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSEMKT:RNN) shares gained 2.51% to $0.620. The company on July 17 announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) for a novel drug delivery platform, Nano-Polymer-Drug Conjugate Systems (NPDCS). This technology targets the delivery of currently marketed chemotherapeutic agents directly into cancerous tumors. The direct delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs into the tumors has been shown to result in increased efficacy and reduced toxicity.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) shares climbed 3.63% to $8.71. JPMorgan analyst started covering the stock with an "Overweight" rating and a positive view on the company's experimental drug Zerenex. Analyst Cory Kasimov said he expects Zerenex, a treatment for kidney disease, to be approved and reach the market in 2014. He said combined annual sales in the U.S. and European Union could reach $500 million a year and added that he believes the drug will have patent protection until 2024. Kasimov set a price target of $13 on Keryx shares.




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