Healthcare Review: Amgen, BioCryst, Compugen, ResMed, Rigel Pharmaceuticals Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 26 August 2013 22:26
U.S. stocks opened little changed on Monday after data showed a steep drop in orders for long-lasting manufactured goods last month. The durable goods report was the latest in a series of data points that have kept expectations for the Federal Reserve's next step muddled. Economists largely expect the Fed will start to reduce its $85 billion in monthly purchases of debt, but some uncertainty over this remains.

Amgen (AMGN) post-Onyx acquisition, this time from Deutsche's Robyn Karnauskas who raises the price target on AMGN to $138 from $115.The deal will be 3% accretive in 2015, Karnauskas says. FY14, 15, and 16 EPS estimates are revised to $8.43, $9.09, and $9.51 respectively ($8.53, $8.87, $8.84 previous).

Shares of BioCryst (BCRX) are up sharply midday, hitting fresh 52-week highs. Wells Fargo started the shares at Outperform last week. The stock has benefited from a string of positive developments since July, including Phase 1 trial data on BCX4161 and the removal of a clinical hold on the HAE drug by the FDA, not to mention the announcement that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is set to provide funding for a peramivir NDA.

Compugen (CGEN) moves up today after saying it's established a Scientific Advisory Board to guide its pipeline development. The board will focus on advancing activities in the fields of immunology and oncology, including its early stage pipeline of therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies. The members include four renowned translational scientists and clinicians in oncology and immunology: Charles Drake, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Immunology and Urology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center; Iain McInnes, MD, PhD, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow; Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, Professor at the Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, UCLA; and Howard Soule, PhD, EVP and Chief Science Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Shares of ResMed (RMD) are up modestly on the heels of an upgrade from Bank of America. Analyst Matthew Prior says there are several potential catalysts that should serve to prop the stock up in the face of what will likely be weak Q1 2014 domestic flow generator growth. Catalysts include: A new flow generator product and higher gross margins. Deutsche Bank sounded a similar tone earlier this month, upgrading the shares on expectations for new mask launches.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) sells off sharply after the company announces disappointing results from a Phase 2 study of R343 in allergic asthma. Leerink however, maintains an Outperform rating on the shares, saying expectations for the remaining near-term catalysts are low.Price target lowered to $5 from $7.

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