Healthcare Review: Acadia Healthcare, Theravance, Gilead Sciences, Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Prosensa Holdings Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 14:13
U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 receding from Monday's record closing levels as traders found few reasons to buy following a string of gains, though a rise in semiconductor companies' shares limited losses. The day's slight losses were broad, with eight of the 10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes down for the day, led by telecom , which fell 0.6 percent. Slightly more than 60 percent of stocks traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq fell on the day.

Acadia Healthcare ($ACHC) acquires Partnerships in Care, the U.K.'s second-largest independent behavioral health provider for $660M in cash. The British firm operates 23 inpatient psychiatric facilities with over 1,200 beds. Last year, it generated $285M in revenues and adjusted EBITDA of $75M.

Theravance ($THRX) and Theravance Biopharma complete their separation into two independent publicly-traded companies. Shares of Theravance are down a good bit today as investors revalue the firm ex-biopharmaceuticals.

In a move favorable to Gilead Sciences ($GILD) Medicare will now cover the cost of screening for Hepatitis C. This will invariably lead to more antigen-positive cases and will open the Government's wallet a bit further for cures like Sovaldi. As many as 2.7M Americans may be infected with the Hep C virus. Medicare will pay the cost of Hep C screening for high risk adults who inject or have injected illegal drugs or had a blood transfusion prior to 1992. Medicare will also cover the cost of screening for anyone between the ages of 49 and 69.

50% of patients whose tumors are injected with Provectus Biopharmaceuticals' ($PVCT) PV-10 experience a compete response (tumors are undetectable) in a Phase 2 clinical trial. The results are impressive at first glance but the veneer comes off the results because of small size of the cohort (28 patients) and the low confidence interval (31 - 69%).

The FDA clarifies an accelerated approval pathway for Prosensa Holdings' ($RNA) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drug drisapersen based on existing data. The company plans to file its NDA later this year and commits to two confirmatory post-approval studies. Prosensa will follow through on its plan to re-dose an initial cohort of boys in Q3 who have previously participated in drisapersen clinical studies.

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