Healthcare Review: Isis Pharmaceuticals, Amyris, Sarepta Therapeutics, Celgene, Galena Biopharma Print
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:17
U.S. stocks advanced modestly on Thursday after the latest batch of mixed data failed to deliver the confidence boost needed by investors to push indexes past record highs set last week. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose in the week ended May 17 and were above expectations but remained near 7-year lows, pointing to labor market conditions that continued to strengthen. U.S. home resales rose in April and the supply of properties on the market hit its highest since August 2012, hopeful signs for the stalled housing market recovery.

Isis Pharmaceuticals' ($ISIS) Factor XI inhibitor ISIS-FXIRX delivers positive top-line results in a 300-patient Phase 2 comparator-controlled study evaluating the incidence of venous thrombolic events (VTE) in patients treated with ISIS-FXIRX undergoing total knee replacement surgery. Patients treated with 300 mg of ISIS-FXIRX experienced a seven-fold decrease in VTEs compared to patients receiving enoxaparin. Patients receiving a 200 mg dose had a VTE incidence rate comparable to enoxaparin. Patients receiving both drugs experienced a very low rate of bleeding. The incidence of venous thromboembolism with ISIS-FXIRX is numerically lower than the new oral anticoagulants in this setting.

Amyris ($AMRS) is set to offer a private placement of $75M in Convertible Senior Notes due May 15, 2019. The company also intends to offer the buyer an option to purchase up to an additional $15M. The notes will be unsecured senior obligations paying semi-annual interest. The interest rate, offering price and other terms will be negotiated with the buyer. Proceeds to be used for general corporate purposes.

Sarepta Therapeutics ($SRPT) acquires a 26-acre multifunctional manufacturing facility in Massachusetts for ~$25M. It will use the site to make investigational exon skipping therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The transaction is expected to close in July. The cGMP-qualified facility was built in 1996 and upgraded in 2006. It will support ~40 techs and support staff.

Celgene ($CELG) Hematology & Oncology chief Mark Alles promoted to COO.CFO Jacqualyn Fouse, Ph.D., promoted to President Hematology & Oncology. Inflammation & Immunology leader Scott Smith promoted to President I & I. Peter Kellogg hired as EVP, CFO. Mr. Kellogg joins the company from Merck, where he was EVP & CFO.

Galena Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ:GALE)’s shares jumped 3.80% to $2.16. The company on May 21 announced that data from the Company’s Phase 1 study with GALE-301, or Folate Binding Protein, will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 50th Annual Meeting. Abstract #5559 is entitled, “Comparison of recurrent and nonrecurrent ovarian and uterine cancer patients undergoing adjuvant folate receptor vaccine therapy.” The data will be presented during the Gynecologic Cancer General Poster Session on Saturday May 31, 2014 from 8:00 am to 11:45 am CDT in S Hall A2.


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