Healthcare Review: Nu Skin Enterprises, Prosensa, Questcor, Amarin, Sarepta Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 15:22
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with the S&P 500 pulling back from record levels following a round of disappointing earnings as financial stocks led the way lower. Financials were the biggest drag on the market after both Citigroup Inc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported quarterly profits hit by lower bond trading revenue, with Goldman's earnings falling 21 percent and Citigroup's missing expectations. The results followed fairly positive reads on the sector from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co.

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. ($NYSE:NUS): From an email obtained by Bloomberg: "We are aware that Chinese regulators have now initiated investigations to review issues raised by recent news reports ... As part of our ongoing commitment to comply with all applicable Chinese regulations, we have initiated our own province-by-province business review and will invite relevant regulators to provide guidance. "Given the fast growth in the company's Chinese sales force, the company is taking steps to improve its training and education. "There will likely be a negative impact on China revenue, but it is too early to know whether our previous guidance will be affected."

"We are encouraged by these results that suggest that treating earlier in the disease and treating longer shows a delay in the progression of the disease," says Prosensa (RNA) CEO Hans Schikan. The analysis of 96-week extension data shows a 49 meter difference between those on continual treatment and those who had been on a placebo for 48 weeks followed by active drug. Press releaseAt the moment, the company is presenting further details of the results at the JPMorgan healthcare conference.

All options are "on the table" for the Acthar Strategic Committee, says Questcor ($QCOR) CEO Don Baily, speaking at the JPMorgan Healthcare conference. Webcast and slides he says the company had a "very strong" Q4 and Acthar paid subscriptions were 2.5K, flat from Q3.

Amarin ($AMRN) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners after it announced the FDA had delayed making a determination on the company's request to reinstate the ANCHOR clinical trial Special Protocol Assessment agreement. MKM continues to expect AMRN to have a difficult time significantly growing Vascepa prescriptions in the face of a smaller sales force and new ACC/AHA lipid guidelines that essentially only recommend statins for lipid management, and the firm does not expect AMRN to secure a near-term partnership for the drug.

Sarepta ($SRPT) shares jump 19% after the company said late yesterday that its Eteplirsen treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy performed well in a Phase IIb study, with the therapy enabling "continued stability on a walking test through 120 weeks." After releasing the news, Sarepta gave a presentation at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, which you can see here.

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