Healthcare Review: Abaxis Inc, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, EnteroMedics Inc, Affymax Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 26 July 2013 14:25
U.S. stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its first weekly drop in more than a month, as earnings from Newmont Mining Corp. and Expedia Inc. missed estimates and amid concern central banks will pull back on stimulus programs. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 1,686.64 at 1:55 p.m. in New York, paring an earlier drop of 0.8 percent. The benchmark index is down 0.3 percent for the week after climbing to a record high on July 22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 46.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,508.84 today.

Abaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) stock dropped 15.52% to $41.82. The company on July 25 reported financial results for the first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013. For the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013, Abaxis reported revenues of $43.2 million, as compared with revenues of $42.0 million for the comparable period last year, an increase of 3 percent. The company reported net income of $3.2 million for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to $2.9 million for the same period last year, an increase of 13%. Abaxis reported diluted net income per share of $0.14 (calculated based on 22,571,000 shares) for the three-month period ended June 30, 2013, compared to $0.13 per share (calculated based on 22,217,000 shares) for the same period last year.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) shares dropped 7.12% to $81.45. The company on July 25 announced that the company has received notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that a partial clinical hold has been placed on Vertex's ongoing Phase 2 U.S. study of the nucleotide analogue hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase inhibitor VX-135. The partial clinical hold prevents evaluation of a 200 mg dose of VX-135 in the U.S. study following observation of reversible elevated liver enzymes in patients receiving 400 mg of VX-135 in combination with ribavirin in a Phase 2 study in Europe.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSEMKT:INO) shares decreased 4.03% to $1.43. The company on July 24 announced that in a preclinical study with two animal models, Inovio's hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase) DNA cancer vaccine administered with Inovio's CELLECTRA® adaptive electroporation delivery technology generated robust and broad immune responses, broke the immune system's tolerance to its self-antigens, induced T-cells with a tumor-killing function, and increased the rate of survival.

EnteroMedics Inc. (NASDAQ:ETRM) stock soared 22.39% to $1.31. The company, on July 25, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing the Company's Premarket Approval (PMA) application for approval of the Maestro® Rechargeable System's VBLOC® vagal blocking therapy as a treatment for obesity. As previously announced, the FDA indicated in a pre-PMA meeting that, subject to a detailed review of the submitted data, the Company can anticipate presenting the PMA before a future FDA Advisory Committee panel.

Affymax, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFY) shares climbed 9.02% to $1.45 on no official news. As previously announced, on May 28, 2013, Affymax, Inc. (the “Company”) received a determination letter (the “Determination Letter”) from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) delisting the Company’s common stock from Nasdaq as of June 6, 2013. Effective on that date, its common stock was immediately eligible for and now trades for quotation on the OTCQB, an electronic quotation service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. for eligible securities traded over-the-counter.

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