Healthcare Review: MAKO Surgical Corp, Pacific Bioscience, Oncothyreon, Prana Biotechnology, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:06
U.S. stocks dipped in choppy trading on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 eyeing a fifth day of losses, as a lack of progress in budget negotiations in Washington puzzled investors. Concerns over a potential U.S. government shutdown added to mixed signals on the immediate future of the monetary policy that has given support to equities, keeping traders on edge. Still, the possibility of a last-minute deal in Congress eased some selling pressure brought by the uncertainty.

MAKO Surgical Corp. (NASDAQ:MAKO) shares increased 82.37% to $29.49. Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK) on Sept. 25 announced a definitive agreement to acquire MAKO Surgical Corp. (MAKO) for $30.00 per share with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $1.65 billion. This transaction contemplates the issuance by MAKO of an additional 3.953 million shares in connection with an anticipated acquisition which Stryker expects MAKO will consummate as part of MAKO's normal course of business.

Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ:PACB) shares jumped 47.14% to $5.13. The company on  Sept. 25 said it will get $35 million upfront and possibly $40 million more in a deal to make diagnostic products with Roche Diagnostics.

Menlo Park-based Pacific Biosciences will develop sequencing systems and consumable products under the deal, and will sell them exclusively to Roche, which has paid for an exclusive license to use the products for nucleic acid sequencing in human in vitro diagnostics.

Oncothyreon Inc (USA) (NASDAQ:ONTY) shares increased 26.06% to $2.27. The company on Sept. 25 said Germany's Merck KGaA (MKGAY, MRK.XE) has decided to continue clinical development of Oncothyreon's lung cancer drug tecemotide, even though the drug didn't meet its primary endpoint in a prior Phase 3 study.

Merck Serono, which is developing the drug under a license agreement with Oncothyreon, will conduct a new Phase 3 trial called START2 for patients with locally advanced Stage III nonsmall cell lung cancer.

Prana Biotechnology Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:PRAN) stock jumped 10.50% to $4. 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.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX) shares climbed 7.87% to $45.67. The company on Sept. 19 announced results from a 200-patient study evaluating the benefits of EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) as the foundation of a multimodal postsurgical pain management regimen in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA), commonly known as total knee replacement. The findings show that patients treated with EXPAREL experienced better pain control with improved knee flexion and a shorter length of hospital stay compared to patients who received a femoral nerve block with a local anesthetic, the current standard of pain management for TKA. Additionally, the use of EXPAREL resulted in a substantial cost savings. The data were presented at the Marshall Steele 7th Annual Orthopedic and Spine Summit in San Antonio.

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