|Healthcare Review: Ariad, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical, Biogen Idec, Pharmacyclics|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Friday, 21 February 2014 15:34|
Alexander J. Denner, the chief investment officer and founding partner of activist investor Sarissa Capital, has been given a 2-year term on Ariad's ($ARIA) board. Ariad will also be adding another independent director to its board, one who will be "selected by the Board and be subject to [Denner's] concurrence." Reuters reported two weeks ago Sarissa, which disclosed a 6.22% stake in Ariad in October, wanted at least two board seats ahead of Feb. 20 deadline for nominating directors.
Isis Pharmaceuticals ($ISIS) ISIS-SMN treatment appears to have increased muscle function in an ongoing multiple-dose Phase 1b/2a study of children with spinal muscular atrophy, interim results demonstrate. In addition, results from a biomarker assay show an increase of SMN protein (Survival of Motor Neuron) in the cerebral spinal fluid. The protein is particularly important for the maintenance of motor-neuron nerve cells, which control muscle movement. The results give Isis "further confidence to advance ISIS-SMNRx into a Phase 3 program" says CFO Lynne Parshall. That trial is due to start later this year.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA): The EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issues a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization for DuoResp Spiromax, setting the stage for final approval from the EC in the next few months.
Biogen Idec Inc. ($NASDAQ:BIIB): Those numbers are well higher than consensus $374M, says analyst Robyn Karnauskas, maintaining a Buy and $415 price target. Deutsche's FY14 calculations based on IMS data are for U.S. sales of $2B-$2.142B vs. consensus $1.652B.
Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC): Q4 results confirmed a strong launch for Imbruvica despite just six weeks on the market and approval in the smaller indication of relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma, says analyst Robert Drbui, reiterating his Buy rating and raising the PT to $166 from $137. "We believe off-label usage in the larger chronic lymphocytic leukemia indication ahead of last week's approval was clearly evident, suggesting the strong underlying demand in this population."