Healthcare Review: Organovo, Galena, Amarin, Tesaro, Rosetta Genomics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:39
U.S. equities fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index approached a record, as corporate earnings disappointed investors. The dollar reversed early gains and gold slipped while natural gas led commodities higher as snow blanketed the U.S. Northeast. The S&P 500 was up 0.2 percent at 1,842.24 at 2 p.m. in New York, after gaining as much as 0.6 percent and losing 0.3 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index pared an advance after touching a six-year high. Chinese shares jumped 1.8 percent as money-market rates fell the most in four weeks. The dollar erased an increase against the euro and yen, while 10-year Treasury yields were little changed at 2.83 percent. Gold dropped 1 percent and Brent oil gained for the first time in four days. Turkey’s lira fell to a record low.

Citron Research points out only 7.98% of Organovo's ($ONVO) shares are owned by institutions and that the only sell-side firm providing coverage (JMP Securities) on the $819 M company was a placement agent for a 4M-share offering. The firm declares it "cannot think of a stock with this high market cap and so little institutional ownership or analyst coverage."Citron also suggests Japanese boiler room operation Kanagawa Associates has helped prop up Organovo's shares, and notes Swedish regulators have issued a warning about unauthorized cold-calling by Kanagawa aimed at convincing individuals to invest in Organovo.

"We believe Galena ($GALE) is rapidly transforming itself into a multi-product oncology-focused company," says Needham analyst Chad Messer, reiterating his Buy rating and lifting the price target to $9 from $3.50."Since the beginning of the year the company had initiated a Phase II program for its ovarian cancer vaccine GALE-301, signed an agreement with Dr. Reddy's to fund development of lead drug NeuVax in gastric cancer, and acquired a Phase II ready specialty pharma product for essential thrombocytopenia (ET.) All of this progress comes on the heels of a successful Q4 launch of Galen'a first commercial product, Abstral."

“We believe the company will abandon attempts to gain approval for the indication meaning that Vascepa will only be approved for what appears to be a niche indication," says analyst William Tanner, reiterating his Market Perform rating and $2 price target on Amarin ($AMRN) following the FDA declining the reinstate the ANCHOR SPA. Investors, he says, face significant dilution even if Amarin discontinues the REDUCE-IT trial. With $226M ($1.30 per share) in cash at the end of Q3 and an $80M/quarter burn rate this year ($30M-$40M for REDUCE-IT), the company has about two years of liquidity. "We doubt the company could achieve break-even status with just the MARINE indication."

Shares of Tesaro ($TSRO) are getting a boost from an upgrade by BMO Capital to Outperform from Perform along with a $10 PT hike to $46.The firm cites meetings with management, from which it came away seeing "a significant opportunity [...] for rolapitant within NCCN treatment guidelines" to the tune of peak sales of $400M.Additional upside could come from "large contracts on rolapitant approval, IV development, and pipeline progress, particularly with PARP inhibitor niraparib."

Rosetta Genomics' ($ROSG) shares are +9% after saying that its Cancer Origin Test is being covered by Highmark Health Services, the fourth largest U.S. Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Affiliated company. Highmark has 5.3M members in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. The test is now available to one in five people in the U.S. The product tests for the origin of tumors in Cancer of Unknown or Uncertain Primary (CUP).


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