Healthcare Review: Alexion, Oramed, Geron Corporation, Galena Biopharma Inc, Eli Lilly Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:36
The dollar strengthened and global equity markets rebounded on Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy with plenty of momentum in the last quarter of 2013, boding well for continued growth and strong corporate earnings. Turmoil in emerging markets eased, as the hard-hit Turkish lira and South African rand rebounded. Russia's central bank pledged unlimited foreign exchange interventions if the rouble strays outside its target band. The rouble hit record lows against the euro early in the session, while the rand slid to multi-year troughs before rebounding. Moves earlier in the week by Turkey, South Africa and India to staunch capital flight had failed.

Alexion ($ALXN) shares are +20% following the company's strong earnings report, although the chatter on Twitter is that investors are particularly pleased by the company's new tax structure.Alexion has "essentially moved its business operations from the U.S. and Switzerland to Ireland," tweets Adam Feuerstein. Cowen says that this will cut the company's guided tax rate in 2014 to 10-11%.

Oramed's ($ORMP) oral insulin capsule for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes met all primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase 2a trial of 30 patients. Oramed now plans to begin Phase 2b testing later later in the year. In the near term, the company intends to start a Phase 2a study of the capsule for treating Type 1 diabetes. Shares are +4%, although the Twitterati is none too pleased at the notable lack of detail in Oramed's PR. The company plans to present the full results of the latest trial at a conference in the future.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN)’s shares jumped 8.31% to $4.69. The company on Jan. 29 announced that it intends to offer and sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. Geron also expects to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the shares of common stock offered in the public offering, exercisable for 30 days. All of the shares in the proposed offering are to be sold by Geron. The offering is subject to market and other conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.

Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE)’s shares jumped 5.68% to $5.58. Needham & Company on Jan. 21 reiterated a “buy” rating and boosted the target price to $9 from $3.50. Additionally, Galena Biopharma (GALE) and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (RDY) on Jan. 14 announced a strategic development and commercialization partnership on NeuVax(TM) in India. Galena Biopharma is a biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing innovative, targeted oncology treatments that address major unmet medical needs to advance cancer care.

Eli Lilly ($LLY)’s net profit -12% to $727.5MSales breakdown: antidepressant Cymbalta tumbles 38% to $883.2M after the treatment lost patent protection in December; chemotherapy drug Alimta +6.1%; diabetes treatment Humalog +19%.Patent expirations "will result in a substantial decline in revenue and earnings in 2014," CEO John Lechleiter reiterates, although the company hopes to revive sales with new products. "We anticipate launching several new medicines this year and returning our company to growth in 2015 and beyond," Lechleiter says. Confirms 2014 EPS of $2.77-2.85.

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