Healthcare Review: Salix Pharmaceuticals, Xoma, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Trovagene, Fate Therapeutics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:51
Stock markets worldwide climbed on Tuesday while safe-haven gold and Treasury bonds fell as investors largely shrugged off the first partial shutdown of the U.S. government in 17 years on bets that it would be short-lived. Congress missed a midnight deadline to agree on a spending bill, resulting in up to 1 million workers being put on unpaid leave. No signs of compromise emerged immediately as the Democratic-controlled Senate formally rejected an offer by House of Representatives Republicans to break the logjam.

Salix Pharmaceuticals ($SLXP) and Progenics Pharmaceuticals ($PGNX) finally get a date for an Advisory Committee meeting regarding the companies' appeal of the complete response letter the FDA issued for Relistor in OIC for patients with chronic pain. The committee will convene on March 10-11 next year, after which time action on the appeal is expected within 30 days.

Shares of Xoma ($XOMA) — think gevokizumab — are moving sharply higher Tuesday on double their 10-day average volume. Notable options action: One trader purchased 3K November 5 strike calls and partially financed the purchase with the sale of 3K October 5 strike calls. Volume was short of open interest for this month's 5s.

Piper Jaffray cuts its price target on Arena Pharmaceuticals ($ARNA) to $10 from $11.50, which was exactly what the stock did not need on the heels of Monday's Credit Suisse bear call. According to market chatter, Edward Tenthoff has cut Q3 Belviq sales estimates to $1/4M versus $4/14M previously.

Shares of Trovagene ($TROV) soar as the company announces the availability of the first urine test for cancer mutation monitoring. The cell-free BRAF test detects and monitors V600E BRAF mutation, replacing tissue sample-based monitoring which "has limited practicality for patient monitoring due to costs, tumor heterogeneity and potential complications from the biopsy process." (PR)Aegis' Raghuram Selvaraju says the news marks "a significant milestone for the company and [is] a core component of the firm's strategy aimed at attaining profitability near-term."

Fate Therapeutics ($FATE) opens at $6.56 and moves sharply higher.The offering priced at the low-end of its expected range, notable because the company had already lowered the range to $6-8 from $14-16.FATE's lead product is ProHema, a hematopoietic stem cell therapeutic derived from umbilical cord blood.




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