Healthcare Review: Hansen Medical, Nanoviricides, Omeros, Insmed, Cadence Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:44
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday after new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reinforced the central bank's plan to trim its market-friendly stimulus, while also noting labor market conditions needed to improve. In her first public comments as Fed chief, Yellen emphasized continuity in the Fed's policy strategy, saying she strongly supports the approach of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. "They are apparently loving what Janet Yellen has to say which is really, 'hold the course steady, here is what I am.' She is not any different than what they expected her to be," said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.

Hansen Medical ($HNSN) says it received FDA clearance for its smaller diameter Magellan 6Fr Robotic Catheter for peripheral vascular interventions. Also, HNSN announces the departure of CEO Bruce Barclay; current board member Chris Lowe is appointed interim CEO.

Nanoviricides' ($NNVC) shares plummet 25% after Seeking Alpha author Pump Terminator labels the company a "house of cards with 80% downside," and gives the stock a "strong sell" recommendation. It goes without saying that Pump Terminator is short Nanoviricides, which develops anti-viral therapeutics. Nanoviricides is "the worst U.S. reverse merger we have ever seen" and is "obviously a vehicle designed specifically to enrich insiders," Pump Terminator writes. Pump Terminator accuses the company of stock promotion and heavily diluting shareholders "as insiders siphoned off millions of dollars." Pump Terminator also believes that one of Nanoviricides's top scientists has been dishonest, calling into question its technology, which "is clearly not viable."

Omeros ($OMER) says more data from Phase I testing of its OMS824 drug support the potential for using the compound as a treatment for schizophrenia, Huntington's Disease and other cognitive disorders. The testing evaluated the extent to which OMS824 binds to PDE10, an enzyme in the brain that has been linked to a wide range of diseases that affect cognition. OMS824 achieved a peak of 70% engagement at PDE10.Omeros now plans to increase the dosage in the trial to see if a higher rate can be achieved.

Wedbush's Gregory R. Wade has downgraded Insmed ($INSM) to Underperform, and cut his PT all the way to $7 from $18.Wade states Wedbush's review of an Insmed Phase II study for its Arikace drug suggests "there will be insufficient data" for the FDA to approve using it to treat nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections. The firm now thinks a Phase III study will be needed, something it doesn't believe is priced into shares.

Mallinckrodt ($MNK) is up 8% and Cadence (CADX) jumps 26% following news that Mallinckrodt has agreed to acquire Cadence for $1.3B.The deal will increase Mallinckrodt's specialty pharmaceutical offerings and its presence in hospitals, where Cadence's products are widely used. These include Ofirmev, an intravenous painkiller and fever reducer with estimated 2013 sales of $110.5M in 2013.Mallinckrodt expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to its 2014 earnings and significantly accretive to income a year later.

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