Healthcare Review: Rockwell Medical, Endocyte, Regeneron, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Prana Biotechnology Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 13 September 2013 12:37
U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 set to post its largest weekly gain in two months, with traders focusing on next week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and its expected reduction of stimulus. Despite indications economic growth slowed somewhat in the third quarter, the Fed is seen trimming its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, with monetary policy remaining widely accommodative - and supportive of equities.

Rockwell Medical Inc. (NASDAQ:RMTI) shares gained 20.29% to $9.90. The company on Sept. 4 said its lead experimental drug met the main goal of improving hemoglobin levels in its final late-stage trial among adult patients with chronic kidney disease. The study was the second of two identical late-stage studies testing the drug in patients with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis — a process by which waste and extra fluid is removed from the blood of patients with kidney failure.

Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT) shares gained 8.07% to $16.61. ECYT and Nihon Medi-Physics (NMP) on Sept. 5 announced that they have entered into a license and commercialization agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Endocyte and NMP will develop and commercialize the companion imaging diagnostic etarfolatide (EC20) for cancer indications in Japan. Approval will be sought from the regulatory authorities to use etarfolatide to select patients who will most likely respond to vintafolide, Endocyte's folate receptor (FR)-targeting SMDC, by identifying tumors that express the FR.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) shares jumped 3.78% to $283.94. The company on Sept. 10 announced the appointment of Robert E. Landry as Senior Vice President, Finance. Mr. Landry will also assume the position of Chief Financial Officer of Regeneron on October 1. After 18 years as CFO, Murray A. Goldberg will transition to a new role as Senior Vice President, Administration in anticipation of his retirement at the end of 2014. Mr. Landry brings over two decades of varied financial and operating experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Pfizer, Inc.  

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVNR) shares declined 16.03% to $4.18. The company on Sept 6 announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Wockhardt USA, LLC and Wockhardt Ltd. (collectively, "Wockhardt") to resolve pending patent litigation in response to Wockhardt's abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) seeking approval to market generic versions of Avanir's NUEDEXTA® (dextromethorphan hydrobromide/quinidine sulfate) capsules. The settlement agreement grants Wockhardt the right to begin selling a generic version of NUEDEXTA on July 30, 2026, or earlier under certain circumstances.

Additionally, the company announced that on September 3, 2013, the Company approved the grant of stock options to new employees to purchase a total of 69,600 shares of common stock in the aggregate. The stock options were granted as inducements material to the new employees entering into employment with Avanir, as permitted under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).

Prana Biotechnology Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:PRAN) stock dropped 14.57% to $4.22. The company on Sept. 13 provided an update on three clinical trials testing its proprietary drug, PBT2, in Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases. The Reach 2HD trial is a six month double-blind placebo controlled Phase 2 trial on 109 early-to-mid stage Huntington's disease patients. The trial was successfully completed at the end of July 2013 with 95% of participants completing the entire six months of treatment.




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