Johnson & Johnson Wishes to Aquire Gilead; Teva Slashing R&D, Cuts 14 Programs Print E-mail
By William Kent   
Monday, 06 October 2014 19:58

Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on October 6, 2014. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) does not commonly like to play second banana to anyone, especially when billions of dollars in drug sales are at stake. And so it's not unexpected that J&J coughed up $1.75 billion to assume privately held biotech company Alios and it's fascinating hepatitis C nucleotide inhibitors.

The acquisition could energize Johnson & Johnson's hepatitis C program, positioning it to more directly contend with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), whose Sovaldi thoroughly crushed J&J's own Olysio after both drugs gained FDA approval last year.

 
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Teva is nervous about their CNS and respiratory diseases, dishing out more than $500 million in research costs across the next 3 yrs with plans to table or spin out 14 clinical programs as it backs away from women's health and oncology.

The R&D emphasis at Teva ($TEVA)--which has struggled to develop critically needed new drugs--will remain on multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases and pain in the CNS franchise, with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease staying in the spotlight on the respiratory side. The company said that following its strategic review of the pipeline it is reducing its focus on women's health and cancer to late-stage efforts.

Teva added that it "will continue to evaluate opportunities for commercially oriented activities and collaborations." The cutbacks will allow the Israeli biopharma company to focus more of its resources in its two remaining core franchises, while cutting back on overall expenses.

The reduction will amount to $150 million in R&D costs in 2015 and in excess of $200 million for each of 2016 and 2017, according to Teva.

Teva's had a hard time trying to reorganize in recent years. It's changed CEOs, seized and discarded reorganization plans and experienced some bitter setbacks in the clinic as it hunts for a turnaround in the face of a generic challenge to Copaxone. A few months ago the company bought out an anti-CGRP migraine drug--one of several in the clinic--when it inked an $825 million buyout deal for Labrys.

Teva enthusiastically projected peak sales for the new drug at $3 billion a year and clearly expects a major turnaround in R&D, despite the latest retrenchment.

"Our late-stage pipeline assets are expected to generate great value--out of the 30-plus product launches we anticipate by 2019, with a total of over $4 billion in new revenue on a risk-adjusted basis, over 20 products will be launched in these two core therapeutic areas," says CEO Erez Vigodman


 
Also Monday:



Alcobra Ltd. (Nasdaq:ADHD)
, an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new medications to help patients with cognitive disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Fragile X Syndrome, today announced topline results from a Phase III study of Metadoxine Extended Release (MDX) in adults with ADHD.

Alder BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:ALDR)
, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing antibody therapeutics, today announced data from the proof-of-concept clinical trial of ALD403 published in the October 6, 2014 issue of Lancet Neurology demonstrates that ALD403 met the primary study endpoint and is effective for the preventative treatment of migraine. ALD403 is Alder's lead clinical candidate targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, for migraine prevention.

Alliqua Biomedical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALQA)
, today announced that the Company has amended its exclusive licensing agreement with Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Celgene Corporation.

Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AGIO)
, a leader in the fields of cancer metabolism and rare genetic disorders of metabolism, today announced that the company will webcast presentations at its Research and Development (R&D) Day on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m. EDT in New York City.

Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.(OTCBB:CAPR)
, a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, today announced that it plans to develop a clinical program for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) using CAP-1002, Capricor's lead product candidate.

Cerner (Nasdaq:CERN)
today announced it will release its third quarter 2014 earnings results after the market closes on October 23.

Cerulean Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq:CERU)
, a leader in Dynamic Tumor Targeting™, today announced the appointment of Pamela Strode as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs.

Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:KOOL)
, an autologous cell-based regenerative medicine company announced today that Kenneth Harris the Company's President will present at the 4th Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa to be held October 7-9 in La Jolla, CA.

Chimerix, Inc. (Nasdaq:CMRX)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, oral antivirals in areas of high unmet medical need, today announced that brincidofovir has been provided for potential use in patients with Ebola Virus Disease.

Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq:FOMX)
, a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary topical foams to address unmet needs in dermatology, today announced the initiation of a Phase II trial with FDX104, its topical formulation of doxycycline, to prevent rash in cancer patients taking epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (EGFRI).

Herborium® Group, Inc.(OTC Pink: HBRM)
, a Botanical Therapeutics® Company and the provider of unique all  botanical medicines (Botanical Therapeutics®) has presented the Company's opportunities and  its unique all botanical treatments at the 7th Annual "Life Science Stakeholders Summit" on Thursday, October 2nd 2014.

Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ITCI)
, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced that the Company will present a poster on ITI-007, the Company's lead drug candidate for the treatment of schizophrenia, behavioral disturbances in dementia, bipolar disorder and other neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, at the American Neurological Association 139th Annual Meeting.

Islet Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB:ISLT)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines and technologies for the treatment of metabolic disease, announced that its merger partner, BHV Pharma, has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for its selective sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, remogliflozin etabonate ("remogliflozin") with Libbs Farmaceutica ("Libbs"), a leading Brazilian pharmaceutical company.

mCig®, Inc. (OTCQB:MCIG)
, a technology company that owns, manufactures, and distributes the mCig®, VitaCig®, and Vapolution products, is pleased to officially unveil the company's fifth consumer product in less than one year: The Vapolution 3.0 has been designed and engineered by the company's investment subsidiary: Vapolution, Inc. in Chico, California.

MedAssets, Inc. (Nasdaq:MDAS)
today announced that it plans to release its financial results for the third quarter and nine-month period ended September 30, 2014 after 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

MediciNova, Inc., (Nasdaq:MNOV)
a biopharmaceutical company traded on the NASDAQ Global Market and the JASDAQ Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Code Number:4875), today announced that it has been invited to and will present data on MN-001 (tipelukast) during the late-breaking poster session at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), to be held November 7 – 11 in Boston.

MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCQB:MRIC)
, maker of the innovative ClearPoint® neuro navigation system, today welcomed Frank Grillo as its new President and CEO-elect and provided commentary on its third quarter 2014 results.

NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS)
, a leader in the emerging cellular therapy industry, announced today that the United States Adopted Name Council (USAN) has approved the generic name "eltrapuldencel-T" for the Company's patient-specific targeted cancer immunotherapy under investigation for the treatment of Stage IV or recurrent Stage III metastatic melanoma.

OXiGENE, Inc. (Nasdaq:OXGN)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer therapeutics, today announced that the data from the Phase 2 GOG186I study of fosbretabulin in combination with bevacizumab will be presented on Sunday, November 9 at the 15th Biennial Meeting of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) meeting being held in Melbourne, Australia.

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (Nasdaq:PACB)
provider of the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System, today announced that Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) has added Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology to the repertoire of DNA sequencing technologies they are using to compile the most comprehensive and complete human genotype, microbiome, and phenotype database.

Sanomedics International Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:SIMH)
; a medical technology holding company that focuses on providing game changing products, services and ideas, announced today that it has reduced its liabilities by 8% and strengthened its balance sheet following the restructure of $1 Million, plus interest, in debt owed to TCA Global Credit Master Fund LP.

TearLab Corporation (Nasdaq:TEAR) (TSX:TLB)
today announced the appointment of Julie Speed to its senior management team as Vice President, Global Marketing.

The Texas A&M University System and XOMA Corporation (Nasdaq:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, today announced that the Texas A&M University System agreed to a non-exclusive license for XOMA's innovative design of a manufacturing facility.

VBL Therapeutics (Nasdaq:VBLT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to the development of novel treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 6,666,667 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $6.00 share, before underwriting discounts and commissions.




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