Healthcare Review: Furiex Pharma, Oculus Innovative, Chelsea Therapeutics, Eli Lilly, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:27
U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday in midday trading as the S&P 500 faced a technical resistance level after a recent string of gains and investors turned cautious ahead of the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40.30 points or 0.25 percent, to 16,090.10. The S&P 500 slipped 5.69 points or 0.31 percent, to 1,835.07. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.305 points or 0.57 percent, to 4,248.478.

Bloomberg reports Furiex Pharma (FURX) has hired BofA/Merrill to help find a buyer. Shares have spiked higher in response. Two weeks ago, Furiex more than doubled in response to news its Eluxadoline irritable bowel syndrome drug had met the company's main objectives in a late-stage study.

Oculus Innovative Sciences ($OCLS) says Mexican regulators approved its Microcyn60 Oral Care family of products intended for use as an adjunct treatment in mouth and throat infections. OCLS says the commercialization of its Microcyn technology for the new indication lays the foundation for its introduction into other international markets, particularly Europe. The first oral care product to be launched by OCLS' Latin American partner, More Pharma, will be Microdacyn60 Bucofaringeo.

Deutsche Bank raises its price target for Chelsea Therapeutics ($CHTP) to $8 following the FDA's approval of the company's Northera treatment. Needham ups its target to $10.Shares are surging 33% to $6.61.The drug is indicated for preventing sudden drops in blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness and fainting, in patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, a disease that is associated with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's. Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos expects the company to explore partnerships or to even be acquired, although it could launch Northera on its own. Moussatos estimates that the treatment could generate $430M in global peak sales. The FDA authorized Northera on an "accelerated basis", which means patients will get access to it while the company carries out a post-market study of 1,400 people to see whether Northera has a durable effect - efficacy beyond two weeks has yet to be demonstrated.

The success of Eli Lilly's Ramucirumab in a Phase III trial is the "death knell" for Peregrine Pharmaceuticals' ($PPHM) Bavituximab, tweets Adam Feuerstein. "Not that anyone but cultists believed in it at this point." In January, the company received Fast Track designation for Bavituximab in NSCLC after announcing the start of a Phase III trial in December. However, the drug didn't do so well in a Phase II study.

Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Ramucirumab met the main goal of a Phase III study of patients with second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by improving survival rates compared with a placebo. Ramucirumab and the placebo were administered in combination with the chemotherapy Docetaxel. Ramucirumab also showed a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival.




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