Healthcare Review: IsoRay, Novo Nordisk, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 14:08
U.S. stocks barely budged on Wednesday as investors paused after a two-day rally and looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The S&P 500 was within 1 percent of its intraday record high, though a drop in Adobe Systems shares weighed on the tech sector, and economic bellwether FedEx Corp hit a sour note in its outlook. Geopolitical concerns related to Ukraine also stayed in focus. Adobe's stock fell 2.3 percent to $66.96 and was the S&P 500's worst performer a day after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software reported first-quarter earnings. FedEx posted results below expectations and gave a weak full-year profit forecast, but the package shipper said it had been significantly hurt by winter storms, and the stock slipped 0.3 percent to $138.21.

Shares of nano cap biotech IsoRay ($ISR) continue their up move that began with an opening gap on January 7 when the firm reported the FDA approval of its liquid cesium Cesitrex. Today's recent price of $1.36 represents a 147% gain from the January 7 close of $0.55.Investors should exercise caution here considering ISR's market cap of $43M and miniscule sales of $1M/qtr (2013/2012 revenues declined ~7%).The company executed a public offering in May. The sole book runner was Maxim Group LLC.A bullish article was published on March 14 at 11:47 am. At precisely the same time, buy orders were placed for ~136,000 shares at $0.84 - $0.89.10 mutual funds have positions, up from 9 a year earlier.

Novo Nordisk ($NVO) "reports positive results" from the first Phase III trial of its N8-GP treatment for Haemophilia A. The study assessed the safety and efficacy of N8-GP when administered for prophylaxis and when given on-demand in patients who are aged 12 and above. Other than that, Novo provided no other information about the results.

Isis Pharmaceuticals ($ISIS) has initiated a Phase I trial of 48 healthy volunteers to test the company's ISIS-ANGPTL3 Rx antisense treatment for hyperlipidemia, which occurs when there are too many lipids - or fats - in the blood.ISIS-ANGPTL3 Rx "has the potential to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and to increase insulin sensitivity," Isis says. The study is designed to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple doses of ISIS-ANGTPL3 Rx.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals ($ALXA) closes $45M non-recourse notes in a private placement. Interest rate is 12.25%/year beginning June 15.Debt secured by royalties and potential milestones from U.S. sales of ADASUVE by partner Teva Pharmaceuticals. Royalty payments are tiered based on net commercial sales. Milestone payments are based on the successful completion of ADASUVE post-approval studies and the achievement of net sales targets. Consensus Alexza revenue estimates for 2014 and 2015 are $11.7M and $34.9M, respectively.

Catalyst Pharmaceutical ($CPRX) makes a shelf filing to raise up to $100M in common stock. The company's market cap is $118M. (S-3)In its Q4 report, Catalyst says it expects to complete the enrollment of patients in the Phase 3 clinical trial for its Firdapse treatment for Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome at the end of Q1, with results due in Q3.Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by muscle weakness of the limbs.

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