Healthcare Review: Illumina, Anacor, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 28 October 2013 13:36
U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors found few catalysts to push equities higher after the S&P 500's latest record high. The S&P 500 has risen more than 6 percent since Oct. 8, its lowest point during the partial government shutdown and debate over raising the debt ceiling. The gains have sent the benchmark to a series of record highs, largely on investor expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep stimulus measures in place for at least several months as a result of the damage done to the economy by the political wrangling in Washington.

Illumina ($ILMN) is set to acquire NextBio, which has the capability to "aggregate and analyze large quantities of phenotypic and genomic data for research and clinical applications." ILMN says the deal will allow it to "offer customers enterprise level bioinformatics solutions that accelerate the discovery of new associations between the human genome and disease, and ultimately, enable the application of those discoveries within healthcare." ILMN also affirms its 2013 guidance for good measure.

Anacor ($ANAC) settles outstanding litigation with Valeant (VRX -0.4%) for $142.5M, which will be paid to ANAC "no later than November 8."The deal puts to rest "all existing and future claims as well as the damages awarded in [the] arbitration as well as resolves its dispute with Medicis and all other disputes between ANAC, VRX, and DPS related to ANAC's intellectual property, confidential information and contractual rights."

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) rallies after saying over the weekend that clazakizumab appears to be comparable to Humirain reducing the symptoms of RA when taken in combination with methotrexate. BMY also released new data from the lung cancer cohort of Study 003 (Phase 1 nivolumab trial) which showed 42% and 24% of heavily pre-treated NSCLC patients were alive after one and two years, respectively. Here's Morgan Stanley: “Upgrading to Overweight and raising PT from $45 to $60 after raising 2020E EPS by 27%; $60 PT is up 23% from Friday's close. BMY is the leading contender to transform cancer treatment with new drugs that boost the immune system.”

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals ($SNSS) initiates a Phase I/II investigator-sponsored trial of vosaroxin in previously treated MDS patients. SNSS will determine the MTD then proceed to examine safety and hematologic response. For more on vosaroxin, including some color on the upcoming read-out for VALOR, see SA contributor Ben Yoffe's recent interview with Cowen's Eric Schmidt.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals ($OGXI) jumps 10% before the bell. Needham's Chad Messer says that "while Xtandi and other prostate cancer agents in development may eventually erode chemotherapy use in prostate cancer, this concern is nothing new and [may not] have a material effect on the long-term value" of the shares. OGXI upgraded to Strong Buy. Price target lifted to $30 (from $20) — so Messer is essentially looking for the shares to quadruple.



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