Healthcare Review: Cardiome, ResMed, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Abbvie, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 23 September 2013 13:34
U.S. stocks opened mixed on Monday as traders balanced upbeat data from Germany and China with angst about the timing of Federal Reserve tapering as more top Fed officials took to the speakers' circuit. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4.05 points or 0.03 percent, to 15,447.04, the S&P 500 lost 1.13 points or 0.07 percent, to 1,708.78 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.449 points or 0.3 percent, to 3,786.177.

Cardiome ($CRME) soars after reporting positive data from an atrial fibrillation study. The company says patients treated with vernakalant "achieved conversion to normal sinus rhythm in a median time of 12 minutes compared to 151 minutes for propafenone and 162 minutes for flecainide."

Goldman upgrades ResMed ($RMD) to Buy from Neutral. Analyst Ian Abbott says the company will likely "deliver double-digit EPS growth in FY 2014 due primarily to strong patient demand, positive mix shift to higher-end devices and limited market share losses, if any." Abbott also says FX-tailwinds should serve to offset any drag from pricing declines. The FX and mix shift arguments are familiar: See analysis from Deutsche and BofA.

BMO Capital ups its price target on Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) to $43 from $31 after the company said over the weekend that its ISIS-APOC3-Rx treatment lowered triglyceride levels in three patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome. BMO, which maintained its outperform rating, believes that the data demonstrates that ISIS-APOC3-Rx addresses a significant unmet need that could help accelerate the drug's time to market.

Abbvie ($ABBV) has signed a deal to license the ALX-0061 antibody of Belgian biotech Ablynx ($ABLYF.PK), with the U.S. company to pay $175M upfront, milestones of $665M and then double-digit royalties on any product sales.ALX-0061 is in Phase II development and is used to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ($ALNY) is out with more TTR-mediated amyloidosis data. (previous) The company says interim results from a Phase I clinical trial show sub-Q ALN-TTRsc achieved a "robust, consistent, and statistically significant (p<0.01) knockdown of serum TTR protein levels of up to 94%. "The human data are "the first to be presented for ALNY's proprietary GalNAc-siRNA conjugate delivery platform," "establish a new benchmark for consistent TTR knockdown of approximately 90% for RNA therapeutics in development for the treatment of ATTR," and "are a major milestone in [the company's] ATTR program, as well as [the] entire pipeline of RNAi therapeutics."

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