Healthcare Review: Synta Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Novogen, Harvard Bioscience, Achillion Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 04 November 2013 14:44
U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday, with shares of Blackberry plummeting to a 10-year low as the day's biggest loser, amid uncertainty over the longevity of the Federal Reserve's massive stimulus measures. U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled 13.8 percent to $6.70 a share after the smartphone maker said it was abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead, would replace its chief executive officer. With Monday's drop, the stock is at levels unseen since October 2003.

Shares of Synta Pharmaceuticals ($SNTA) are notably lower on the session. Highlights from the company's Q3 report include: Final OS results from GALAXY-1 by "early 2014;" interim and final analyses of GALAXY-2 in H2 2014 and H1 2015, respectively; ENCHANT-1 initial results at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December; cash position at quarter's end was $53.4M (versus $100.6M as of December 31, 2012), enough to last "into Q2 2014."

Novartis ($NVS) may consider selling its animal-health business as part of a portfolio review the company is conducting with the help of Goldman, people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. Although no decisions are final, the sources also suggest the OTC medicines business and the vaccines unit are also candidates for a possible sale. According the Cit estimates, the animal-health business is worth around $4B.

Novogen ($NVGN) posts double-digit gains on above-average volume with no readily apparent catalyst to explain the move. The shares skyrocketed in mid-October after SA contributor Small-Cap Momentum Advisors predicted a buyout.

Harvard Bioscience ($HBIO) is off 16% after completing a spin-off of its regenerative medicine device subsidiary. Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology now trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker HART.HBIO shareholders got one share of HART for every share of HBIO they owned as of October 21.HBIO now calls itself a "pure-play global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of tools to advance life science research."

Achillion ($ACHN) is up 8.7% after a poster presentation at AASLD outlines the "preclinical profile" of ACH-3422. The presentation "details the potent and specific inhibition of HCV NS5B polymerase, demonstrates [the] low risk for mitochondrial toxicity [and shows] high efficiency in the conversion of ACH-3422 into the triphosphate within human hepatocyte cell lines. "In sum, the company says it expects to initiate first-in-human and proof-of-concept trials in H1 2014.




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