Healthcare Review: Ocera Therapeutics, BSD Medical, Sarepta Therapeutics, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 13:37
U.S. stocks fell, with benchmark gauges trimming earlier declines amid speculation equities retreated too far after signs of financial stress in Portugal fueled demand for haven assets. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 1,967.79 at 2:10 p.m. in New York, trimming an earlier decline that was the most since May 15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) lost 47.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,938.56. The Russell 2000 Index fell 0.6 percent, paring a drop of 1.9 percent. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 12 percent above the 30-day average at this time of day.

Ocera Therapeutics ($OCRX) prices its public offering of 4.2M shares of common stock at $6.00 per share. Underwriters over-allotment is 630K shares. Proceeds will be used to advance the clinical programs of OCR-002, working capital and general corporate purposes.

BSD Medical ($BSDM) fiscal Q3 revenue: $1.3M (-4.8%); gross margin: $505.3K (-15.8%); operating expenses: $2.5M (-3%); net loss: $2.0M (unch).The company inks a distribution deal with Comed Medical Specialties to sell the MicroThermX Microwave Ablation line. Comed has a strong presence in the western U.S. The assigned territory is AZ, CA, El Paso, TX, NV, NM and UT.

Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics ($SRPT) are down 14% on robust volume in response to the company's clinical update on eteplirsen in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. At week 144, the decline in walking ability was greater than the decline measured at 74 weeks implying that the drug's effectiveness may be declining. The average decline in walking ability as measured by the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) was 2.2 meters at 74 weeks compared to an average decline of 33.2 meters (n=6) at 144 weeks.

Arena Pharmaceuticals ($ARNA) reports that Eisai has added 200 new contract sales reps in its Metabolic Business Unit. The total number of sales people promoting Belviq is now ~600. The company believes the expansion will increase its reach to another 92K doctors in the U.S.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) EVP of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer Peter Mueller, Ph.D., announces his retirement effective October 31, 2014, following a planned transition period.

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