Healthcare Review: Vanda Pharmaceuticals, CytRx, AbbVie, Amgen, Geron Corporation Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 31 January 2014 15:34
U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for its first monthly loss since August as disappointing corporate earnings from big companies like and concerns about the euro zone and emerging markets kept investors on edge. But the major stock indexes came well off their session lows by afternoon, with the S&P 500 recovering from most of its loss.

"I think the shorts are taking off some risks, heading into the weekend. It's been a decent couple of weeks for them, and they are adjusting their positions as this week, this month comes to an end," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71.51 points or 0.45 percent, to 15,777.10. The S&P 500 declined 3.74 points or 0.21 percent, to 1,790.45. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.764 points or 0.14 percent, to 4,117.361.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals ($VNDA) shoots higher after it says the FDA approved Hetlioz (tasimelteon) 20mg capsules for the treatment of non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder, the first FDA-approved medication of its kind.The disorder affects the majority of totally blind people; ~80K live in the U.S.VNDA anticipates making Hetlioz commercially available in the second quarter of 2014.

CytRx ($CYTR) has priced an 11.5M-share stock offering at $6.50, 19% below yesterday's closing price of $7.98. Underwriters have a 1.725M-share overallotment option. Gross proceeds are set to total $75M. CytRx says it will use net proceeds to fund clinical trials for its Aldoxorubicin cancer drug, and for "general corporate purposes."

AbbVie ($ABBV) +3.5% in early trading despite reporting a 27% Y/Y drop in Q4 earnings, as the company releases positive results on its final-phase clinical trials for a promising new drug to treat certain patients with hepatitis C.ABBV says it is on track to begin major regulatory submissions of the drug early in Q2.ABBV’s blockbuster drug Humira eclipsed $10B in sales in 2013, making it the highest-grossing drug in the world; sales of the drug rose 13.4% during Q4 to $3.04B.Overall net sales fell 1.8% to $5.11B, despite the Humira figures; sales of its Niaspan, TriCor and Trilipix cholesterol drugs fell by nearly 90% because of the introduction of generics. Sees FY 2014 EPS of $3.00-$3.10 vs $3.16 analyst consensus estimate and revenue of $19B vs. $19.12B consensus; results exclude any potential revenue from the expected 2014 launch of the hepatitis C drug.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN): The Phase 3 Rutherford-2 trial evaluating evolocumab meets its primary endpoints: The percent reduction from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at week 12 and the mean percent reduction from baseline in LDL-C at weeks 10 and 12. The mean percent reductions in LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, were consistent with the results observed for the same doses in the Phase 2 RUTHERFORD trial for evolocumab compared to placebo 1."Data from the RUTHERFORD-2 study suggest that evolocumab, when used as an add-on therapy to existing lipid-lowering medications, may offer a new treatment option for patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia," says EVP of R&D Sean Harper.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN)’s shares dropped 5.98% to $5.03. 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.


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