Healthcare Review: Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Neuralstem, Alcobra, Coronado Biosciences, NPS Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 03 January 2014 14:08
U.S. stocks were mixed by the afternoon on Friday, erasing earlier gains, as lower-than-usual volume and comments from Federal Reserve speakers made trading volatile. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, a voting member of the Fed's monetary policy committee this year, said the Fed faces "immense" challenges now that it has reduced bond-buying, and needs to be cognizant of a rapid rise in future inflation. He said the central bank's balance sheet is still growing at "a fairly rapid clip" despite the $10-billion reduction in monthly asset purchases, which started this month. The market is still awaiting Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks at 2:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) in Philadelphia.

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals ($INO -7.3%) and Chelsea Therapeutics ($CHTP -10%) are notably lower on the session. They have one thing in common today: They are both mentioned by TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein in his Biotech Stock Mailbag column. On INO: "The technology upon which the company's vaccine candidates are based is more than 30 years old and has never proven to be effective in clinical trials. INO's management team is exceptionally promotional and 85% of the company's stock is held by retail investors, according to S&P CapitalIQ." On CHTP: "I will say Zheng and I probably agree on Northera almost as much as we disagree. CHTP is in for a tough fight at the Jan. 14 panel because the Northera data are far from confidence inspiring," Feuerstein writes, referencing SA contributor Nick Zheng

Neuralstem ($CUR -5.7%) slides after announcing a 6.75M share registered direct placement. The price to the "leading institutional investors" is $2.91 per share. Gross proceeds to the company: $19.65M.Investors will also receive a warrant to purchase half the number of shares they bought in the offering at an exercise price of $3.64 per share.

Coronado Biosciences (CNDO) falls 4.8% premarket. Behind the move looks to be Oppenheimer, where analysts have cut the shares to Perform from Outperform.$2.50 price target removed.

Alcobra ($ADHD +1.3%) is a top pick for 2014 at Aegis."In our view, MG01CI could have a best- in-class efficacy profile for treatment of PI-ADHD, which comprises over 40% of all ADHD sufferers," analyst Raghuram Selvaraju says, adding that the Orphan Designation in FXS "confers seven years of automatic market exclusivity and a rapid path to commercialization on MG01CI early in its development process as an FXS drug." Price target is $40, which represents upside of 122% from Tuesday's close.

NPS Pharmaceuticals ($NPSP) gets an Orphan Designation for Natpara in hypoparathyroidism from the European Commission.


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