Healthcare Review: Spherix, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:56
U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 both coming off their record closing highs, though losses were concentrated in small-cap names. Major indexes dipped only slightly, but the S&P small-cap index lost 1.1 percent. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was off 0.7 percent, extending a divergence that has been pronounced throughout 2014. While the S&P is up 2.4 percent on the year, the Russell is down 4.5 percent.

Shares of pico cap Spherix are up again today on an 8x surge in volume. Today's up move follows yesterday's ~13% pop on a similar volume spike. Investors appear to like the company's prospects regarding its patent infringement suit against Juniper Networks especially considering its tiny $17M market cap. On a technical basis it was due for a spike. Before yesterday's move, shares were down ~96% in the three months since its August 5 high of $27.86.

Idera Pharmaceuticals ($IDRA -5.9%) files an S-3 for a $200M shelf offering of common and preferred stock, depositary shares and warrants. Proceeds to be used for general corporate purposes.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals ($QCOR -0.8%) enters a collaboration with an undisclosed privately held European firm to develop novel melanocortin peptides. The deal includes an option to acquire the technology during clinical development. The firm will focus on novel receptor-selective peptide compounds designed to target specific melanocortin cellular receptors in order to address specific autoimmune and inflammatory diseases with high unmet medical need. The agreement includes a technology platform that provides a library of these peptides.

Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals ($ISIS) are up 10% premarket on robust volume in response to positive data from its 75-patient Phase 2 trial for ISIS-GCGR - RX with its achievement of statistically significant reductions in measures of glucose control. Absolute mean reductions in HbA1c were greater than 2% and greater than 1% in the 200mg and 100 mg cohorts compared to baseline after 13 weeks of treatment. Study subjects also experienced increased plasma GLP-1 levels.

The BOD of Dr. Reddy's ($RDY) decide to separate the roles of Chairman and the Managing Director and CEO. Vice Chairman, Managing Director and CEO Satish Reddy will assume the role of COB. GV Prasad will continue as CEO and is appointed Co-Chairman and Managing Director. Abhijit Mukherjee, President of Global Generics, is appointed COO. He will add Pharmaceutical Services and Active Ingredients to his managerial responsibilities.

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