|Healthcare Review: Response Genetics, Celldex Therapeutics, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Agenus|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Thursday, 07 November 2013 15:37|
Response Genetics ($RGDX) plunges after Q3 revenue comes in short of expectations at $4.1M.Pharmaceutical client revenue — which the company notes is "characteristically inconsistent" — falls 35% Y/Y and 30% sequentially. The company blames "one-time $500K milestone payments received in both Q2 and in Q3 2012."ResponseDX revenue: -16% Y/Y, -18% Q/Q. Here, the company says the culprit is "accelerated refocusing of sales efforts on larger new potential accounts." Gross margin: 33% versus 49% in Q3 2012 and 49% in Q2 2013.CEO Thomas Bologna calls the results "clearly disappointing."
The rally in Celldex Therapeutics ($CLDX) has held up, with the shares off their morning highs but still up sharply. Brean likes the CDX-1127 data, as analyst Jonathan Aschoff is "encouraged to see that the lymphocyte population did not drop as a whole," and says he "believes that auto immunelike toxicities that may emerge when combining CDX-1127 with another immune-stimulating agent can be managed." Buy rating maintained.Price target lifted to $35 from $25.
JPMorgan reiterates Keryx Biopharmaceuticals ($KERX) at Overweight on the strength of the latest Zerenex data (non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease patients with elevated serum phosphorus and iron deficiency anemia). Here's analyst Cory Kasimov: "Based on the data and management's comments on the conference call, we are updating our model to 1) include a higher WAC at launch and 2) to include a NDD-CKD revenue model from an iron supplement perspective rather than a phosphate binder." Kasimov predicts approval (ESRD) next year. Price target raised to $22 from $14.
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals ($MACK) jumps after providing an update on its development program along with Q3 results. NAPOLI-1 (MM-398 in advanced pancreatic cancer) top-line data now expected in Q2 2014 versus Q4 2013/Q1 2014. MACK says a "blinded assessment of OS events across the entire trial ... are occurring later than forecasted." Confirmed: MM-121 Phase 2 in wild-type EGFR non-small cell lung cancer did not meet primary endpoint. Upcoming in Q4: Top-line data for MM-121 in second line hormone receptor positive breast cancer, neoadjuvant HER2 negative breast cancer; presentation of MM-302 Phase 1 in December. Financials: Q3 net loss of $0.39 versus consensus of a $0.31 loss.
Agenus ($AGEN) soars 28% after HerpV met its primary endpoint in a Phase 2 trial showing, in the words of the study's principal investigator, "that we can direct the immune system to fight [HSV-2]."Patients receiving HerpV "had a statistically significant reduction in viral shedding" after three initial injections, supporting "that vaccination with HerpV has a real, measurable biological effect lowering the active shedding of the virus." Final results are due in H1 2014.