Healthcare Review: Ziopharm Oncology, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Atossa Genetics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 14:40
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 at a record high, as fears of a confrontation between Russia and Ukraine eased and Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no need to use military force in the Crimea region for now. The gains follow hefty losses in U.S. equities and other risky assets on Monday. Global stocks rebounded while gold, the Japanese yen and Treasuries prices fell. Crude oil prices, up more than 2 percent on Monday, reversed some of that session's gain. Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise near the Ukrainian border back to their bases as he sought to ease tensions a day after Russian stocks, bonds and currency were hammered.

Shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology ($ZIOP) get a post-report tailwind. Investors like its collaboration with Intrexon (XON) for its RheoSwitch Therapeutic System, a method for modulating protein production in gene-based therapies. The company's lead product, Ad-RTS-IL-12, a novel gene expression platform for interleukin-12, is currently in P2 trials for the treatment of melanoma and breast cancer.Quick assets totaled $68.2M at years end and will be sufficient to fund operations into 2015's second quarter.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals ($ACRX) enjoys investor enthusiasm today after yesterday's earnings report after the close. Consensus estimate for 2014 revenue is $3.6M, but the company expects to earn a $5M milestone fee in Q3 from Grunenthal GmbH when it submits its marketing application to European regulators for Zalviso by mid-year. Quick assets on hand are sufficient to fund operations through 2015.

Shares of Rigel Pharmaceuticals ($RIGL) get a pop after reporting earnings this morning. Quick assets totaled $212M at years end. The company expects to burn $80M this year. Cash on hand is sufficient to fund operations through the second quarter of 2016.Mutual fund ownership has retreated from 246 to 184 over the past four quarters.

Insys Therapeutics ($INSY) plans to carry out a three-for-two stock split in which stockholders will receive one share for each two that they hold. The record date is March 17, with the distribution scheduled for March 28.The number of shares outstanding will increase to 33.4M from 22.3M.

Atossa Genetics ($ATOS) plummets 20% after the FDA requests more information about the company's 510(k) application for its ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator health test device. Atossa intends to request an extension to the 30 day limit that the FDA sets for providing a response; if granted, Atossa could have up 180 days to answer. Atossa says it doesn't view the FDA's request "as unusual or unexpected."

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