Healthcare Review: NeuroMedtrix, Endo International, Antares Pharma, Forest Labs, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 13:24
U.S. stocks slipped in light trading Tuesday, erasing earlier gains, as blue chips struggled to resume their recent run to record highs. Outperformance in small-company stocks helped cushion the weakness in afternoon trading, as better-than-expected housing and consumer confidence data helped turn investor attention to companies more closely ties to the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40 points, or 0.2%, at 16897. The blue-chip barometer was up as many as 32 points earlier in the session, above Friday's record closing high of 16,947.08, but just shy of the all-time intraday high of 16,978.02. The S&P 500 eased one point, or less than 0.1%, to 1962. The large-company index pulled back from an record intraday high of 1,968.18 hit earlier in the session.

Japanese regulators approve NeuroMedtrix's ($NURO) NC-stat DPNCheck, a point-of-care test for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Commercial sales will be executed through the company's exclusive in-country distributor Omron Healthcare Co. Ltd. DPN is the most common complication of diabetes, affecting over 50% of sufferers. Over 7M people in Japan have diabetes.

Endo International plc ($ENDP) acquires privately-held DAVA Pharmaceuticals for $575M in cash. There is an additional consideration of $25M contingent on certain sales milestones. According to its website, DAVA offers 11 generic products including acyclovir, albuterol, ampicillin and methotrexate.

Antares Pharma ($ATRS) President & CEO Paul K. Wotton, Ph.D., resigns to assume the CEO job at Advanced Cell Technology ($ACTC). Board member Eamonn P. Hobbs replaces him. Prior to joining the BOD in 2009, Mr. Hobbs was President & CEO of Delcath Systems (DCTH +1.8%).

Forest Labs ($FRX) reports top line results from three Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating the safety, efficacy and tolerability of vilazodone in adult patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In all three studies, patients receiving vilazodone demonstrated statistically significant improvements as measured by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety total score versus placebo.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) are up a whopping 50% premarket on heavy volume in response to its announcement of successful results in two Phase 3 clinical trials for the combination of lumacaftor/ivacaftor as a treatment for patients aged 12 and older with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have two copies (homozygous) of the F508del mutation in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator ((CFTR)) gene, the most common form of the disease.

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