Healthcare Review: Ariad Pharmaceuticals, CombiMatrix, Pozen, McKesson, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 23 December 2013 14:39
U.S. stocks jumped on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 advancing to all-time highs as Apple Inc surged on a distribution deal with China Mobile and lifted the technology sector. Volume is expected to be thin this week, with many market participants out for the Christmas holiday. Equity markets will close early on Tuesday and will be closed all of Wednesday. The light volume could amplify market volatility.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals ($ARIA) rises 12%, adding to Friday's gains as the sell-side adjusts to Iclusig's market reentry. Chardan upgrades the shares to Buy with a $9 target. "We project Iclusig to reach sales of ~$220-$240M by 2019," analyst Ling Wang says, noting that doctors will likely "reserve Iclusig in the refractory setting until patients progress on all approved therapies" but may use the drug as a "preferred second line therapy for patients with T315l mutation." Jefferies maintains a Hold rating, but raises the price target on the shares to $7 from $4. Analyst Eun Yang says the new label is "in-line with expectations." William Blair takes the shares to Outperform from Market Perform.Merrill Lynch reportedly raises its target to $3 from $2, but notes that the company will remain cash flow negative for some time.

CombiMatrix ($CBMX) announces a new agreement with the Maryland-based  provider network FedMed (550K physicians, 4K hospitals, 60K ancillary care providers).The deal gives the network's members access to CBMX's "suite of molecular diagnostic solutions and comprehensive clinical support specializing in prenatal, miscarriage and pediatric healthcare. "FedMed's provider network is accessible by 40M people. CEO Mark McDonough calls the deal "another validation of [the company's] strategy."

Pozen ($POZN) decides to conduct a pharmacokinetic study with PA8140/PA32540 tablets at a cost of $750K.Data will be submitted to the FDA "as it becomes available." Final data are due in March. PDUFA date moved to April 25 from January 24.

Elliott International says it remains "irrevocably bound" to reject McKesson's ($MCK) $8.3B bid for German peer Celesio in its current form. The hedge fund was responding to reports that it could change its mind and accept McKesson's proposal. Elliot, which owns a 22.7% voting stake in Celesio when taking two convertible bonds into account, wants McKesson to sweeten its offer. McKesson has made its bid conditional on obtaining at least 75% of Celesio's shares, including those from the convertible debt. McKesson has already agreed to buy 50.01% of Celesio from diversified holding company Franz Haniel & Cie.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD) shares jumped 4.47% to $25.24. The company presented at the Oppenheimer 24th Annual Healthcare Conference on Dec. 10, 2013, at 8:35 a.m. Eastern Time in New York City.


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