Healthcare Review: Discovery Laboratories, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Oncolytics Biotech, Zalicus Inc, Curis Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 04 October 2013 13:57
Major stock markets edged higher on Friday but were headed for a second week of losses while the dollar hovered near an eight-month low on fears the budget standoff in Washington will drag on until politicians reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. On Wall Street, the three major indexes were on track to end the week with steep losses, despite modest gains on Friday, as the partial U.S. government shutdown entered its fourth day and appeared likely to drag on for another week or more.

Discovery Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSCO) shares surged 44.16% to $2.84. The company on Oct. 4 announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to the Company's updated product specifications for SURFAXIN® (lucinactant) Intratracheal Suspension which was approved for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants at high risk for RDS. The Company has initiated manufacturing of SURFAXIN for its planned commercial introduction in the fourth quarter of 2013. SURFAXIN is the first FDA-approved synthetic, peptide-containing surfactant available for the prevention of RDS in premature infants and the only approved alternative to animal-derived surfactants currently used today.

Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IDRA) shares gained 17.96% to $2.89. The company on Sept. 30 announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering of 13,727,251 shares of common stock, and pre-funded warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 4,175,975 shares of common stock. The gross proceeds to Idera from this offering are expected to be approximately $27.7 million, before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by Idera and excluding the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the pre-funded warrants. Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as sole manager for the offering.

Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:ONCY) stock gained 9.13% to $3.11. The company on Oct. 1 announced that abstracts detailing results from two Phase II studies examining the use of REOLYSIN® in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with Kras or EGFR-activated tumors (REO 016) and in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (REO 021), are now available on the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) World Conference on Lung Cancer website at The conference is being held from October 27th to 30th, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ:ZLCS) shares decreased 11.16% to $5.65. The company on Oct. 2 announced that it has filed a Certificate of Amendment to its Sixth Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to effect a 1-for-6 reverse stock split of Zalicus common stock, effective as of October 3, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time.

The Certificate of Amendment to effect a reverse stock split was approved by the company’s stockholders at its Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on June 6, 2013 and the specific 1-for-6 ratio was subsequently approved by the Zalicus Board of Directors on September 18, 2013. The reverse stock split will reduce the number of shares of common stock issued and outstanding from approximately 147.5 million to approximately 24.6 million.

Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRIS) shares declined 2% to $4.42. The company on Oct. 4 announced that Roche initiated a Phase 1b/2 study of Erivedge® (vismodegib) in patients with relapsed/ refractory acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and relapsed/refractory high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Roche and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Genentech, have developed Erivedge under a collaboration agreement with Curis. Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway has been reported to play a role in the development of certain cancers including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and AML.

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