Healthcare Review: Organovo, AstraZeneca, BG Medicine, Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Sinovac Biotech Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 15:01
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, boosted by a read on factory activity that was much stronger than expected, which offset the prospect of an earlier-than-expected rate hike. Wall Street opened lower, but reversed course after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index rose far more than expected in March, rebounding after a contraction in February. In another positive report, jobless claims rose less than expected in the latest week.

Simeon Research publishes its report on Organovo ($ONVO) asserting a fair value of $1.35 an 85% haircut from its current $8.90.Bulls and bears have hotly debated the merits of the regenerative medicine company since its reverse merger in 2012.Consensus revenue estimate for this year is only $440K but jumps to $15.7M next year. Analysts project its liver tox assay will be a winner after its planned December launch. Others believe sales will be substantially lower.

In an effort to save a good chunk of it’s ~$4B sales from generic competition, AstraZeneca ($AZN) launches Nexium Direct, a direct mail order service for users of the stomach acid drug. Patients can order 30 to 90-day supplies and get a maximum co-pay discount. Most will pay no more than $25/month. The company employed the same strategy when Arimidex went off patent. Generic competition could start as early as May.

Shares of BG Medicine ($BGMD) are up 27%. Management's Q4 earnings conference call starts momentarily. The stock recently broke out of consolidation in response to improved reimbursement for its Gelectin-3 blood test.

Shares of Sinovac Biotech ($SVA) are poised for a modest pop this morning in response to its earnings release. Cash and equivalents totaled $107.2M at year end. Consensus estimates for 2014 and 2015 are a loss of $0.05/share on revenues of $81M and earnings of $0.15/share on revenues of $108M, respectively.

The FDA has accepted Eagle Pharmaceuticals' ($EGRX +7%) application for its Ryanodex treatment for malignant hyperthermia and has given the drug a priority review classification. The FDA's deadline for deciding whether to approve Ryanodex is July 22, 2014.Malignant Hyperthermia can occur when surgery patients inhale certain anesthetics or the muscle relaxant succinylcholine. Symptoms include tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, raised CO2 levels and very high body temperature levels. If not treated, Malignant Hyperthermia can prove fatal.

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