Healthcare Review: ViroPharma, CollabRx, Galena Biopharma, Zalicus, Discovery Laboratories Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 11 November 2013 14:32
U.S. stocks barely budged on Monday in thin trading after investors found little reason to add significant new positions with the Dow and the S&P 500 on a five-week winning streak. The pause comes after October's jobs report drove the Dow Jones industrial average to close on Friday at another record high. The Standard & Poor's 500 ended Friday's session within a few points of its all-time closing high, while both the Dow and the S&P wrapped up a fifth straight week of gains. Volume on Monday was expected to be quiet, with bond markets closed for Veterans Day.

Those who follow ViroPharma ($VPHM) likely aren't too surprised by the Shire takeout. The acquisition rumors have been flying for months and the deal does appear to make strategic sense given SHPG's existing HAE sales force (Firazyr). Here's Flemming Ornskov: "SHPG is uniquely positioned to drive the continued success of Cinryze ... through our knowledge of the rare disease space, our international infrastructure and our biologics manufacturing expertise." SHPG will now be able to offer HAE patients complementary treatments. The rare disease business is now expected to comprise ~40% of SHPG's top-line.

CollabRx ($CLRX) is among the day's big gainers as the data analytics firm announces a multi-year deal with Quest Diagnostics .CLRX is providing a customized version of its Genetic Variant Annotation service for inclusion in DGX's clinical test reports.

Galena Biopharma ($GALE) says data presented at SITC show the FBP vaccine is "safe and immunogenic." The folate receptor alpha-derived, peptide-based cancer immunotherapy was "administered to HLA A2 positive patients ... as an adjuvant treatment to prevent recurrences in high-risk, endometrial and ovarian cancer patients rendered disease-free after completing standard of care therapy." Although the trial was not powered for efficacy, the company notes that after six-months, "there have been two recurrences in the vaccine group vs. four recurrences in the control group."

Zalicus ($ZLCS) slumped 72% on the heels of decisively bad news for its selective N-type calcium channel blocker Z160.With development of the prospective chronic pain treatment discontinued, the company now looks to Z944 which, according to the Q3 PR, will enter Phase 2 testing "next year."

Discovery Laboratories ($DSCO) jumps 9.9%. Analysts at Piper Jaffray have initiated the shares at Overweight. Price target is $6, nearly triple Friday's closing price.


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