Healthcare Review: Oxygen Biotherapeutics, XenoPort, Galectin Therapeutics, NanoString Technologies, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 14:48
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 on track for a sixth straight session of gains, as an alternative solution emerged to the Syrian crisis that could avert a possible Western military strike. Shares of Apple, the most valuable technology company, limited gains, however, and were the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes after the company introduced two new iPhones. Encouraging economic data from China gave investors further reason to buy, with nine of the 10 S&P sectors higher. Energy was the only exception, falling alongside crude oil.

Oxygen Biotherapeutics (OXBT) pops after the USPTO issued the drug developer a patent earlier today for its treatment for pruritus - a sensation patients instinctually try to relieve by rubbing or scratching. The company says it's currently evaluating commercialization strategies, which potentially includes out-licensing for conditions such as allergic contact dermatitis, psoriasis and acne.

Shares of XenoPort (XNPT) soar today after the company released positive preliminary results late yesterday from two Phase I studies of XP23829.Based on the favorable results, XNPT intends to continue to advance development of the drug as a potential treatment for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and/or psoriasis.

Galectin Therapeutics (GALT) is trading notably higher on nearly four times its average 10-day volume. Earlier, the company said it has received a U.S. patent on its galectin inhibitor GR-MD-02 for patients with fatty liver disease. The compound has a Fast Track designation and is currently in Phase 1 testing."The issuance of this patent provides broad coverage in the U.S. for the use of GR-MD-02 in fatty liver disease through September 2031," CEO Peter Traber says.

NanoString Technologies (NSTG) soars after receiving FDA 510(k) clearance for its Prosigna diagnostic test. The test uses the gene expression profile of cells found in breast cancer tissue to assess a patient's risk of distant recurrence of disease. Prosigna is the company's first FDA-approved in vitro diagnostic assay, and CEO Brad Gray notes the approval "marks a milestone for NanoString and is an important step forward in the treatment of breast cancer."

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL) is enjoying a strong session. Helping the cause is an upgrade to Buy from Neutral at MKM. Price target raised to $22 (from $17) representing a 23% upside from Monday's close. See recent commentary from RBC's Michael Yee on Xiaflex and webcast of Monday's presentation at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference.

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