Healthcare Review: Cannabis Science, Halozyme Therapeutics, Amgen, Exact Sciences, Rosetta Genomics Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 04 April 2014 13:20
Steady U.S. jobs growth pushed stocks on Wall Street to fresh highs and kept European equities on track for a ninth day of gains Friday, while damping the dollar's strength on the outlook that the Federal Reserve will continue to wind down stimulus. The U.S. labor market emerged surprisingly strong from a severe winter, with employers hiring at a brisk pace and the jobless rate holding near a five-year low. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 jobs in March after rising by 197,000 a month earlier, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent even though Americans flooded the labor market to hunt for work.

In response to the passing of pot-friendly laws, Cannabis Science ($CBIS) plans to enter Nevada to capitalize on opportunities in cannabis research, growth and dispensaries. The state's new law allowing the buying, selling and testing of weed became effective April 1.

Based on an independent Data Monitoring Committee recommendation, Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) halts patient enrollment and dosing in the Phase 2 clinical trial of PEGPH20.The DMC believes there may be a difference in the thomboembolic rate between the PEGPH20-treated patient group and the non-treated group. The halt is a precautionary measure until the Committee completes its data analysis.

Amgen's ($AMGN) melanoma drug meets its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 clinical trial but misses its secondary. The study evaluated the safety and efficacy of talimogene laherparepvec for the treatment of unresected stage IIIB, IIIC or IV melanoma compared to treatment with subcutaneous granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor ((GM-CSF)).The primary endpoint of durable response rate was met but the secondary endpoint of overall survival was not.

Exact Sciences ($EXAS) offers 10M shares of common stock at $12.75/share to the public. ~$119.7M net proceeds will fund regulatory approval and commercial activities for Cologuard, other product development efforts and general corporate uses. Underwriters over-allotment is 1.5M shares. Closing date is April 9.

Shares of Rosetta Genomics ($ROSG) are up 7% premarket after the USPTO awards a patent covering the method of use of a core element of its microRNA technology in the identification of the tumor of origin in cancer of unknown or uncertain primary and metastatic cancer. Patent No. 13,167,489 is entitled "Gene Expression Signature for Classification of Tissue of Origin of Tumor Samples." It covers the invention of methods to determine an expression profile with a primer sequence and the comparison of the expression profile that quantitates 48 microRNAs and assigns one of 25 tumor diagnoses to identify the tumor of origin.

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