Healthcare Review: Herbalife, Emergent BioSolutions, Amgen, Cleveland BioLabs, Ariad Pharmaceuticals Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 14:39
U.S. stocks took a 200-point plunge today as earnings and forecasts from several companies disappointed investors. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 197 points or 1.2 per cent to 16,176 at mid-afternoon, amid disappointing results from MacDonalds, KeyCorp and Johnson Controls. Investors also worried about a slowdown in China, a major driver of global growth, after a survey suggested the country's factory sector was contracting. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 20 points to 1,874. Toronto stocks followed the U.S. market down, but the slide was not as steep, down 28 points or 0.2 per cent at 13,959.

Herbalife ($HLF) plunges after Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey calls for an investigation of the company, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme by Bill Ackman. Markey has sent letters to the SEC, the FTC and to the company itself to try an obtain more information.

Emergent BioSolutions ($EBS) sinks at the open on plans to offer $200M in convertible senior notes, with the aim to use the majority of proceeds to finance its purchase of Cangene Corp. EBS agreed last month to acquire the Canadian biopharmaceutical company for $222M as it seeks to boost its biodefense franchise and portfolio of specialty therapeutics, while broadening its manufacturing capabilities.

Amgen's ($AMGN) Evolocumab treatment met its main goal of cutting "bad" or LDL cholesterol in the GAUSS-2 Phase III trial of patients with who cannot tolerate statins. "The positive GAUSS-2 results suggest that Evolocumab may offer a new lipid-lowering treatment to meet an important medical need for high-risk patients who cannot tolerate effective doses of statins," Amgen says.

Cleveland BioLabs ($CBLI) -19.8% after saying that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has ended negotiations related to CBLI's proposal for further development of Entolimod as a medical radiation countermeasure. Entolimod, CBLI's lead drug, is being developed as both a radiation countermeasure and a cancer treatment.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals ($ARIA) shares spike 4.3%, after the Daily Mail floats a rumor that industry majors including Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Shire "have been sniffing around" ever since Iclusig was given the green light by the FDA. The paper throws out the number $20/share as the price the potential suitors may be willing to pay.

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