Healthcare Review: Galena Biopharma, Zogenix, Oramed, BioTelemetry, Herbalife Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 03 February 2014 15:32
U.S. stocks fell on Monday, adding to recent losses after data showed the factory sector in the world's largest economy expanded in January at its slowest pace in eight months. U.S. manufacturing grew at a slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the most in 33 years. Investor sentiment soured sharply after the data, driving the cost of protection against a drop on the S&P to its highest level in nearly four months. The CBOE volatility index jumped more than 9 percent to trade above 20 for the first time since early October.

Galena Biopharma ($GALE) plunges after Bronte Capital's John Hempton ridicules the company for marketing its fentanyl-based painkiller Abstral with free samples - "a new low in the pharmaceutical industry."GALE's giveaway is "evil," Hempton writes; it's "doing hippie alternative lifestyle drug marketing for drugs that are especially effective in turning you into a zombie." Adam Feuerstein reminds investors that when examining Q4 and 2013 results, "market share gains derived from free samples don't mean much." Matt Gravitt recently posted his own negative critique on SA, highlighting "numerous red flags" which suggest a "significant overvaluation."

Zogenix ($ZGNX) reports preliminary Q4 gross sales of its Sumavel DosePro migraine-relief drug totaled $14M, with unit shipments rising 2.2% Q/Q to 141,780.Net product revenue totaled $9M. That's officially up from a Q3 level of $6.9M, but the latter figure was affected by a $2.4M increase in Zogenix's estimate for future product returns. Zogenix says it ended Q4 with $72M in cash/equivalents. Full Q4 results are expected in early March.

Oramed's ($ORMP) shares are -9% after The Street's Adam Feuerstein criticizes the results of a Phase IIa trial of the company's ORMD-0801 insulin capsule for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Oramed said last week that the capsule met all its primary and secondary endpoints, and that it is safe and well tolerated, although it didn't provide any data. However, Feuerstein has found a slide which shows that "adverse events were reported by 40% of type 2 diabetics treated with the high dose of ORMD-0801." The rate was 30% in the low-dose group and 50% in the placebo group.

BioTelemetry ($BEAT) has won a patent suit against Mednet Healthcare Technologies after the latter admitted that it breached five BioTelemetry patents that are all valid. The suit centered on technology used in BioTelemetry's Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry. Following the judgement, BioTelemetry has bought Mednet for $16M in a cash and stock deal that includes the assumption of $9.7M in debt. Mednet, which generates over $25M in annual revenue, provides outpatient cardiac monitoring and the contract manufacturing of cardiac-monitoring devices.

Herbalife ($HLF) expects Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.26-1.30, well above consensus of $1.17.The company also projects net sales growth of 19.8% vs estimates of +15.5%, and volume of +12.7%.The company increases its stock repurchase program to an available balance of $1.5B; the previous $1B plan had a balance of $653M.Herbalife sees Q1 EPS of $1.24-1.28 vs estimates of $1.40, with the figures hurt by $0.20 in adverse currency fluctuations.

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