Healthcare Review: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Nektar Therapeutics, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Sequenom, Arena Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 08 November 2013 14:57
Stocks rose following a better-than-expected jobs report, as traders shrugged off the risk the Federal Reserve may start reducing its bond-buying program as early as next month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 98 points, or 0.6%, to 15692 in mid afternoon trading. Stock-index futures briefly sold off on the labor-market data early Friday, but equities recovered minutes later and extended gains throughout the day.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals ($INFI) rallies sharply after providing a pipeline update along with its Q3 results Thursday evening. INFI expects to initiate a Phase 3 study of IPI-145 (the PI3K inhibitor) in CLL during Q4. The company says it is planning "additional studies" for next year "that are designed to continue to differentiate IPI-145 from other agents in development for blood cancers." Five IPI-145 abstracts set for presentation at ASH in December. Cash as of September 30: $250.9M.Q3 R&D spend: $26.9M.Net loss for Q3: $0.71/share.

Nektar Therapeutics ($NKTR) rallies after Q3 results come in well ahead of Street estimates. The company says it is "working with advisors and the FDA to design an optimal Phase 3 program" for NKTR-181. Initiation expected by "mid-2014."Q3 R&D spend: $43.9M.BAX 855 BLA still on track for 2014.Cash as of September 30: $208.6M.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ($PPHM) jumps in morning trading. The company says data show PS-targeting antibodies (like bavituximab) "yielded enhanced anti-tumor activity in a pre-clinical model of melanoma" when paired with an anti-CTLA-4 antibody. In a mouse model, the treatment group (i.e. the group that got the combination treatment) demonstrated "superior tumor growth inhibition than with either antibody alone with no additional toxicity following multiple treatment doses."

Sequenom ($SQNM) rallies 24% after reporting Q3 results Thursday evening. Revenues rose 92% Y/Y and 26% sequentially to $44M for the period thanks to "the continued adoption of the MaterniT21 PLUS test." Total tests accessioned: 48,300 (+87% Y/Y). MaterniT21 PLUS patient samples come in at 38,600 — that's +2% Q/Q, as the company notes that "the laboratory increased its focus on tests with acceptable reimbursement." Medicaid tests as a percentage of MaterniT21 PLUS tests accessioned: 21%, down from 26% in Q2 (17% in September). Uncollected amounts outstanding for tests delivered that were not recognized as revenue upon delivery: $46-51M.

Arena Pharmaceuticals ($ARNA) expands its Belviq marketing agreement with Eisai (ESALF).Eisai now has commercialization rights "for all countries worldwide, except for South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Israel, and New Zealand." ARNA gets $60M upfront and is eligible for up to $176.5M in milestone payments and up to $1.56B in one-time purchase price adjustment payments. ARNA will still recognize 31.5% of North American sales and 30.75% of sales in South America. Rates under new agreement: Europe, China, and Japan, 27.5%; 30.75% elsewhere. Rates may rise as high as 35% in Europe, China, and Asia on sales over $500M.

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