Healthcare Review: Dyax, Omeros, Medgenics, Avanir, NovaBay Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 16 September 2013 13:42
U.S. stocks rose sharply at the open on Monday as investors bet that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers' withdrawal as a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman could mean slower tapering of stimulus by the U.S. central bank. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 147.17 points or 0.96 percent, to 15,523.23, the S&P 500 gained 15.44 points or 0.91 percent, to 1,703.43 and the Nasdaq Composite added 28.554 points or 0.77 percent, to 3,750.739.

Leerink is out with a note on Dyax ($DYAX) which is interesting in light of recent developments on the ViroPharma  (VPHM) takeout rumor front.Analyst Joseph Schwartz thinks "value is warranted for DX-2930," a fully human monoclonal antibody plasma kallikrein inhibitor for HAE expected to enter Phase 2 testing next year (the first patient in a Phase 1 trial was dosed last month). This is of course in addition to Kalbitor, the company's existing sub-Q plasma kallikrein inhibitor.

Shares of Omeros ($OMER) skyrocket as Wedbush raises its price target to $28 from $18.Back in August, Liana Moussatos put the odds of the FDA accepting the company's OMS302 NDA for review at 90% (that expectation is reiterated today).After speaking to a "high-volume cataract surgeon," Moussatos has apparently decided to double U.S. penetration estimates for the phenylephrine/ ketorolac combo, developed for the maintenance of pupil dilation, prevention of pupil constriction, and reduction of postoperative ocular pain.The rationale: FDA scrutiny of sterility issues in topical solutions used during intraocular lens replacement surgery should drive up prices on topical NSAIDs and mydriatic agents, making OMS302 price competitive.

Medgenics ($MDGN) announces a new executive leadership team.  Michael Cola and John Leaman (two Shire veterans) are appointed CEO and CFO respectively. Former CEO Andrew Pearlman is retiring but will still serve on the board and provide advisory services. The company is seeking to "accelerate the development of [its] gene therapy platform and maximize the value of [its] technology assets."

Avanir's ($AVNR) plunge of 30% last week is a buying opportunity, says Piper Jaffray. The stock slumped following accusations from SA author Gravity Research of off-label marketing of the company's Nuedexta treatment for treatment for pseudobulbar affect, a neurological condition that causes sufferers to laugh or cry uncontrollably. Gravity is also concerned about patent litigation. However, Piper Jaffray reckons that both issues are overblown, and keeps its Overweight rating on AVNR and its price target of $30.

NovaBay's ($NBY) Auriclosene solution for preventing urinary catheter blockage and encrustation performed well in a Phase II trial of 67 patients. Auriclosene was effective at reducing the degree of catheter encrustation and maintaining patency. No catheter blockages occurred in the auriclosene-treated catheters, but they were observed in 64% of catheters treated with a saline solution. Reducing catheter blockage and encrustation could save $1B a year in healthcare costs, NovaBay says.




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