Healthcare Review: Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Rockwell Medical, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, CombiMatrix, Puma Biotechnology Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:48
U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday, with investors reluctant to make new bets before the outcome the Federal Reserve's last policy-setting meeting of the year. Major stock indexes briefly extended losses after a two-year U.S. budget deal cleared a Senate procedural vote that all but assured its passage by the Senate as early as Wednesday. Although many in the market don't expect the Fed to begin to wind down its market-friendly purchases of $85 billion a month in bonds until March, some are betting the Fed will taper earlier after a series of stronger-than-expected economic data.

The European Medicines Agency will review Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA)’s Iclusig at its December meeting, according to a meeting agenda posted to the regulator’s website. Ariad shares are up 9.8% to $4.24 following circulation of the agenda.

Summer Street is out in defense of Rockwell Medical ($RMTI) amid a sell-off triggered (apparently) by comments out of Brean's Jonathan Aschoff.  "Buy the weakness," Summer Street's Carol Werther says, adding that "Triferic did reduce ESA use by 74% in hypo-responders, 8.5% from baseline."Werther continues: "The pivotal CRUISE design was put together with [the] FDA, achieved the primary endpoint on efficacy, [and] was statistically significant in both trials.""The analyst who initiated on RMTI did not even speak to [the company] prior to putting out his negative research report," Werther says, incredulous.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ($SPPI) slides after Monday evening's announcement that the company intends to offer $100M in convertible notes.SPPI also says it intends to "enter into convertible note hedge transactions and separate warrant transactions with one or more financial institutions, which may include the initial purchasers or their respective affiliates in order to reduce the potential dilution to the common stock."

Shares of CombiMatrix ($CBMX) are off sharply after the company priced a $12M offering of Series D convertible preferred and warrants.The units priced at $1,000 each and contain one Series D share (convertible to 485.4369 shares of common at $2.06) and a warrant for another 485.4369 shares at $3.12 each.Net proceeds: $10.8M.

Puma Biotechnology ($PBYI) races out of the gate to trade near the $100 per share mark. Helping the cause is BofA, where analysts are "taking the opportunity to increase [their] price objective following [an] in depth adjuvant breast cancer analysis. "BofA calls the risk reward going into an expected H1 2014 breast cancer read-out "one of the most compelling buying opportunities in biotech." How's this for optimistic: Price target hiked to $118 (from $87), but BofA still "sees an additional ~$100/share upside potential in a positive scenario [and] an additional $40-50/share upside" in the event data on Her2 mutant cancer is positive.

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