Healthcare Review: Spherix, Pfizer, Baxter International, Baxter International, Oncology Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 14:03
Stocks gave up an early gain and turned lower in early afternoon trading. Facebook slumped, leading technology stocks lower after announcing its acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus. Investors apparently take umbrage over pico cap Spherix's (SPEX) patent litigation with Cisco. Shares are down 22% to $3.50 on a 10x surge in volume. Analysts are bullish on the firm's business prospects, however. Consensus revenue estimate for this year is $52.3M up more than 8-fold from 2013's estimate of $6.5M.Considering the company's tiny $9M market cap, investors should be cautious here.

Pfizer's ($PFE) Bococizumab (RN316) met the primary goal of a Phase IIb trial, significantly lowering LDL-C cholesterol across several dosing regimens in patients with a high risk of cardiovascular events. Bococizumab is part of a set of treatments known as PCSK9 inhibitors, which several major pharmaceuticals companies are working on.

The Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee meets on Monday to review Cubist Pharmaceuticals' ($CBST) antibiotic TR-701 (tedizolid phosphate). The company acquired the rights to the drug via its acquisition of Trius Therapeutics last year. PDUFA date is June 20.Consensus 2014 and 2015 estimates for the firm are earnings of $0.62/share on revenues of $1.25B and $1.92/share on revenues of $1.48B, respectively.649 mutual funds have positions, up from 598 a year earlier.

Baxter International ($BAX) is splitting into two companies, with one focused on biopharmaceuticals and the other on medical products. Baxter will make a tax-free distribution of shares in the biopharmaceuticals business to its shareholders. The company expects to complete the transaction by mid-2015.The biopharmaceuticals business generated 2013 annual revenues of $6B and develops treatments for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, immune deficiencies, burns and shock. The medical-products business earned annual sales of over $9B and provides intravenous (IV) solutions and nutritional therapies, drug-delivery systems and administration sets, and premixed and other injectable drugs, as well as inhalation anesthetics and hospital-based biosurgery products.

Phase 1 results for Clovis Oncology's ($CLVS) EGFR inhibitor CO-1686 show a 64% objective response rate in non-small cell lung cancer patients with the T790M mutation. Median duration of response is undetermined, but progression-free survival greater than six months has been observed in evaluable heavily-pretreated patients with the T790M mutation. The drug was well-tolerated in 61 of 62 patients. The company expects to submit an NDA for CO-1686 in 2015.

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