Healthcare Review: Gilead Sciences, Oculus Innovative Sciences, Pfizer, DexCom, Amarantus Bioscience Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 14:47
Wall Street stock prices rose on Tuesday, helping world shares steady after they hit a near four-month low, while the yen and U.S. and German government debt prices fell as jitters over emerging markets retreated. Renewed bids for U.S. equities bolstered the dollar and oil and pared demand for gold. Monday's sharp decline on weaker-than-expected U.S. data, concerns over growth in China and the outlook for some emerging economies, opened the door for traders looking for bargains, analysts said.

Gilead Sciences ($GILD) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a $103 price target, up from $65, at Baird even after shares have nearly doubled in the past year. Initial prescription data for sales of hepatitis C drug Sovaldi are so massively outperforming even the biggest weeks Vertex's Incivek ever had, the firm believes any reasonable comparison between the two drugs would indicate that U.S. sales in 2014 alone will exceed $5B; Sovaldi also enjoys a ~70% price premium over Incivek. Even competition with Abbvie ($ABBV) is positive because the data justifies some meaningful penetration by Abbvie’s regimen without having to resort to price as a lever, the firm adds.

Oculus Innovative Sciences ($OCLS) says it received the European CE Mark for its Microcyn-based GramaDerm solution and GramaDerm hydrogel, OCLS' two products intended for use in the topical treatment of mild to moderate acne and designed to complement other acne treatments. While a new drug application for Microcyn acne formulation has not yet been filed in the U.S., OCLS says a number of U.S. dermatologists have been using the Microcyn-based atopic dermatitis hydrogel since its introduction in 2012.

Pfizer ($PFE) leads the Dow out of the gate after Jefferies upgrades shares to Buy from Hold and raises its target price to $38 from $33.The upgrade comes a day after PFE announced positive results from its palbociclib experimental breast cancer treatment, which the firm believes could be approved as soon as the end of this year. The firm also likes PFE's reorganization of its commercial operations, which might make its business more efficient and improve its tax structure; the creation of the division focused on products that are losing protection also may prompt future acquisitions or joint ventures.

DexCom ($DXCM) +5.1% after the FDA approves pediatric use of the company’s G4 Platinum continuous glucose monitoring system. The G4 Platinum System, which monitors blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, already had been approved for patients age 18 and older.

Amarantus Bioscience's ($AMBS) Eltoprazine treatment for adults with ADHD met its primary target in a Phase IIa trial of 47 patients and demonstrated 25% greater efficacy vs a placebo. No serious adverse events took place, while most of the side effects were "mild of moderate." Still, only 36 subjects completed the study.

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