Healthcare Review: Bio-Reference Labs, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, Raptor Pharmaceutical, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 13:34
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a second day, as data showed the economy expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter and concerns over Syria eased. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annualized rate, up from an initial estimate of 1.7 percent, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 2.2 percent gain.

Bio-Reference Labs (BRLI) moves up on a solid FQ3 earnings beat today. Total revenue rose to $185,427, +16% from the same quarter last year and the highest recorded in a quarter in corporate history.Net income increased by 17%.Revenue per patient was $85.25, an increase of 7% over the $79.75 in the prior year.

Idera Pharmaceuticals (IDRA) gives back all of a 9% pre-market spike, plus more, as investors take advantage of some positive news to lock in big profits.Earlier this morning the company said it's reached an R&D accord with the National Cancer Institute to evaluate its Toll-like receptor antagonists as a potential approach to the treatment of certain genetically defined B-cell lymphomas.The stock has soared over 170% since late July on heavy volume, hitting new 52-week highs nearly every week, which has apparently put the stock into "sell-the-news" mode at current levels.

Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) says AbbVie (ABBV) has launched a second Phase 3 trial of elagolix in endometriosis.Data from the first Phase 3 study is due in Q3 2014.NBIX expects to file an NDA in 2016.

Raptor Pharmaceutical (RPTP) drops 5.7% to $12.02 following a bearish piece on Seeking Alpha by Gravity Research, which has given the stock a price target of below $4 after initiating coverage.Gravity Research reckons that the most that Raptor can expect to generate from its flagship drug Procysbi, which the FDA recently approved for treating nephropathic cystinosis, is "less than $4/share even under ideal conditions"Gravity Research also "assigns zero value to Raptor's pipeline due to strong evidence that the fundamental theories behind its leading indications are flawed."Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare genetic disorder "that causes the amino acid cystine to accumulate in every cell of the body, leading to kidney problems and the loss of too much sugar, proteins, and salt through the urine."

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) says it has reached its patient enrollment goal for a Phase 3 study of "MM-398, with or without 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, versus 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer previously treated with gemcitabine-based therapy."

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