Healthcare Review: Sequenom, Anika Therapeutics, Cigna, Discovery Laboratories, CytRx Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 13:13
U.S. stocks fell modestly on Thursday, with investors cautious with indexes near record levels as they digested recent comments from the Federal Reserve, though some strong corporate earnings provided a reason to buy. Optimism about earnings was boosted by Exxon Mobil Corp., one of the largest U.S. companies by market cap, which reported adjusted third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, sending shares 1.1 percent higher to $89.78.

Sequenom ($SQNM) falls hard on news the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has invalidated a patent related to fetal cell-free DNA detection. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of Ariosa Diagnostics in finding that the patent sought to cover a natural phenomenon.

Anika Therapeutics ($ANIK) rallies sharply after breezing past the Street's profit expectations for Q3.Revenue rises 20% Y/Y while net income jumps 212% helped by an easy compare with Q3 2012. Cingal clinicals contribute to a 33% Y/Y increase in R&D. Cash position at quarter's end was $64.1M versus $44.1M as of December 31, 2012. Gross product margin rises 19%, helped by "ongoing initiatives to realize planned operational efficiencies, as well as more favorable product mix and the elimination of the unprofitable tissue engineering operations."

Shares of Cigna ($CI) rally as Q3 results top estimates. Revenues rise 10% Y/Y in Q3, while adjusted income from operations jumps 12%.Premiums and fees growth by segment: Global Health Care, +7%; Global Supplemental Benefits, +29%; Group Disability and Life, +9%.FY13 outlook: $6.70-6.90/share versus previous guidance of $6.25-6.65/share and against consensus of $6.65.

Discovery Laboratories ($DSCO) shares are tumbling after the company priced a 25M share offering (3.75M share overallotment) at $2/share. Outstanding shares will be diluted by 46%.The company expects to take $47M to the bank after fees. The offering was bound to come after shares surged when the FDA approved the company's updated specifications for Surfaxin.

CytRx ($CYTR) is out with some interim data from a Phase 2b trial of aldoxorubicin versus doxorubicin as a first-line treatment for advanced soft tissue sarcomas. ORR for the aldoxorubicin group was 22% versus 0% for the doxorubicin group and CYTR says only 32% of patients that received aldoxorubicin experienced progressive disease versus 50% of patients who received doxorubicin. SAEs: 24 for aldoxorubicin versus 6 for doxorubicin (ultimately, none of the SAEs required discontinuation of treatment).Top-line PFS data is expected in December.

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