Healthcare Review: Cardinal Health, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Cell Therapeutics, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Bioline RX Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:50
U.S. stocks were modestly lower on Tuesday on profit-taking after the S&P 500 index climbed to a record in the prior session and on caution the Federal Reserve may end its stimulus sooner than expected. General Motors Co was in the spotlight after the automaker said Chief Executive Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by Mary Barra, the company's global product development chief. The stock was flat at $40.94. A number of U.S. policymakers suggested on Monday the U.S. central bank may be closer than previously thought to trimming its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. But the market managed to end higher, with the S&P 500 closing at a record.

Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE:CAH) and CVS Caremark ($CVS) are teaming up to create the country's largest generic sourcing entity. Ultimately, this is a joint venture that combines and leverages the companies' supply chain management capabilities in order to negotiate generic supply deals. No physical assets are being contributed by either side and the initial term of the arrangement is 10 years. CAH will make quarterly payments of $25M to CVS over the life on the arrangement in order to "reflect an equitable 50/50 JV." The companies have also inked a three-year extension of their pharma distribution agreements.

Summer Street is out with some commentary on Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA +6.3%). Analyst Carol Werther says the company "appears to have the support of its clinicians regarding" Iclusig's safety. While Werther sees a "larger challenge" in working with the FDA on label changes, she says the drug "provides a clear unmet need and will return in time."

Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:CTIC) announces data from a Phase 2 study of a tosedostat/ cytarabine or decitabine combo in newly diagnosed AML or MDS. First dose cohort results: 54% had either CR or CRi. Primary objective achieved: 82% of patients alive after four months. Median OS for both study arms: ~12 months. Side effects (associated mostly with the cytarabine arm): Febrile neutropenia, pulmonary infections, sepsis in 50%, 31%, and 19% of patients, respectively.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) is out with guidance for FY14.In a move designed to "enhance investor understanding of the business performance of the company, and to provide more clarity and transparency," TEVA is presenting two alternative scenarios: One assumes generic competition for Copaxone and the other does not.FY14 outlook w/generic: EPS of $4.20-4.50 on sales of $19.3-20.3B.FY14 outlook without generic: EPS of $4.80-5.10 on sales of $19.8-20.8B.

Shares of Bioline RX Ltd. (NASDAQ:BLRX) trade 12% higher as the data presented at ASH show BL-8040 "is efficient in inducing the death of AML cancer cells both in vitro and in a humanized mouse model." Here's CEO Kinneret Savitsky: "The results presented ... show that BL-8040 is highly effective in directly inducing AML cell death and in augmenting the effects of other drugs, resulting in an exceptionally high percentage of cell growth inhibition and death." The company says "synergistic effects" were observed when BL-8040 was combined with quizartinib.

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