Healthcare Review: Prana Biotechnology, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Omnicell, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Cytokinetics Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:24
U.S. stocks surged on Tuesday after U.S. President Barack Obama opted to seek congressional authorization for military action against Syria, a move that was likely to delay any strike for at least several days. Market gains were broad, though a pair of multi-billion-dollar deals involving Dow components limited the blue chip index's gains. Equities have recently been pressured by the prospect of a Western strike against Syria after chemical weapons were used to kill civilians. The geopolitical uncertainty contributed to steep losses in August, the worst month for the S&P 500 since May 2012.

Prana Biotechnology Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:PRAN) stock jumped 8.45% to $5.40. The company on Sept. 3 announced Elsevier Business Intelligence has named clinical drug PBT2 as one of the Top 10 Neuroscience Projects to Watch. Prana is developing PBT2 as a treatment for Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease. The top 10 list is selected by an independent panel each year to highlight compounds which address a large, unmet market, strong science and a diversity of indications.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) stock jumped 2.14% to $6.55. The company on August 28 announced the completion of a Phase 1b clinical trial for APD811, an investigational oral prostacyclin (IP) receptor agonist intended for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The company plans to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial for APD811 in the first quarter of 2014. This randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled Phase 1b clinical trial evaluated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of multiple-ascending doses of APD811. Arena previously evaluated single-ascending doses of APD811 in a Phase 1a clinical trial.         

Omnicell, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMCL) shares increased 7.36% to $23.34. The company on August 1 announced results for its quarter ended June 30, 2013. Revenue for the second quarter of 2013 was $93.7 million, up $6.6 million or 7.5% from the first quarter of 2013, and up $18.3 million or 24.3% from the second quarter of 2012. Non-GAAP net income was $9.4 million for the second quarter of 2013, or $0.27 per diluted share. Second quarter 2013 net income as reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) was $6.0 million, or $0.17 per diluted share.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVNR) shares gained 6.08% to $5.41. The company on Sept 3 announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Actavis South Atlantic LLC and Actavis, Inc. (collectively, "Actavis") to resolve pending patent litigation in response to Actavis' abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) seeking approval to market generic versions of Avanir's NUEDEXTA® (dextromethorphan hydrobromide/quinidine sulfate) capsules. The settlement agreement grants Actavis the right to begin selling a generic version of NUEDEXTA on July 30, 2026, or earlier under certain circumstances.

Cytokinetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTK) shares decreased 21.21% to $8.25. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Cytokinetics Incorporated (NASDAQ:CYTK) on Sept. 3 announced the first presentation of data from the ATOMIC-AHF (Acute Treatment with Omecamtiv Mecarbil to Increase Contractility in Acute Heart Failure) study at the ESC Congress 2013, organized by the European Society of Cardiology, in Amsterdam. ATOMIC-AHF was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study that enrolled 613 patients hospitalized with acute heart failure (AHF) treated for 48 hours with omecamtiv mecarbil or placebo and designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and potential efficacy of an intravenous formulation of omecamtiv mecarbil in patients with AHF.

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