Healthcare Review: Tonix Pharmaceuticals, Gilead, Celgene, Isoray, Durata Therapeutics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 13:51
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 advancing to an intraday record after the latest economic data indicated that economic growth was gaining traction after a harsh winter. Gains were broad, but areas of the market closely tied to the pace of economic growth were among the day's leaders. Consumer discretionary stocks rose 1.2 percent while technology shares were up 1 percent. Both the PHLX housing sector index and the Nasdaq biotechnology index added 1.5 percent. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.7 in March, its second straight monthly acceleration, from February's read of 53.2, but below the median forecast of 54.0.

Donald J. Kellerman, Pharm. D., joins the Tonix Pharmaceuticals ($TNXP) executive team as SVP, Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs. He will guide TNX-102 SL and TNX-201 through the development and regulatory processes. Dr. Kellerman has a successful track record of sheparding products through the development and clinical trial phases. His background includes stints at MAP Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Allergan), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Merck), Sepracor (acquired by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma) as well as several members of Big Pharma.

33,672 prescriptions for Gilead's ($GILD) Hep C treatment Sovaldi were filled in the first 12 weeks of commercial availability. Sales could reach $5B the first year making it the most successful pharmaceutical product launch ever. Profit margins of insurers such as Molina Healthcare (MOH) and Express Scripts (ESRX) will be under pressure as the demand for the highly-effective drug skyrockets in tandem with no competition.

Celgene ($CELG) has deepened its relationship with biotech Forma Therapeutics, signing a collaboration deal that will use the latter's screening technique to identify potential new drugs that Celgene could license. Celgene has paid $225M up front for 3 1/2 years of co-operation, after which the sides can participate in two more periods of collaboration of two years each. Celgene would pay a total of $375M in milestones and would also eventually have the option to acquire Forma. Forma will retain U.S. rights to any therapies developed in the deal.

Isoray ($ISR) shares jump 20% after it says that five papers will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Brachytherapy Society that the company expects will extoll the virtues of its Cesium-131 internal radiation therapy treatment. Isoray "believes that all studies will show exceptional results realized in all areas of the body where Cesium-131, or the physics associated with Cesium-131, was used."

Durata Therapeutics ($DRTX) soars 9.5% premarket after an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the company's Dalvance antibiotic for acute bacterial skin conditions. "It's a highly effective drug, as demonstrated in the trial," said Thomas Moore, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Kansas, who was on the panel. The committee also voted to recommend the authorization of Cubist Pharmaceuticals' Sivextro, another antibiotic for skin problems




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