Arena Pharmaceuticals and Orexigen Therapeutics swing on weight-loss pill decision Print
By Mary Davila   
Thursday, 16 September 2010 20:01

Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on September 16, 2010.

Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ARNA) suffered a major setback on Thursday when U.S. advisers rejected its proposed weight-loss pill amid concerns that tumors in rats might indicate a risk of cancer in humans.Lorcaserin, Arena's most advanced drug candidate, is the second diet drug to stumble in a race among three small companies to launch the first new prescription diet drug in a decade.Arena shares fell nearly 40 percent in after-hours trading Thursday to $2.28. The shares had been halted in regular trading pending results of the advisory meeting.

Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX) jumped 40% late in the day, but then fell after hours following a news item posted by Matthew Herper of Forbes who wrote: "This should be obvious, but based on the sudden 40% jump in share price of Orexigen, the tiny obesity drug developer, apparently not: There is no way that Orexigen is more valuable following a key vote against a drug being developed by its competitor, Arena Pharmaceuticals." The biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity, today announced that the Company will be speaking at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in a few days. 

Also Thursday:

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today announced the company's schedule of key data presentations at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation's 22nd annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium in Washington, D.C., to be held Sept. 21 – 25.

Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) a niche generic pharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval of the Company’s Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment USP 1 g as a supplement to the Company’s already approved Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment USP 3.5 g.

Alkermes, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALKS) today announced that NASDAQ has halted trading of the company’s common stock this morning. The Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee appointed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meets today to review the company’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) for opioid dependence.

Amarin Corporation plc (Nasdaq:AMRN) today announced that John Thero, Chief Financial Officer, is scheduled to present on Amarin's behalf at the Global UBS Life Sciences Conference on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm. This conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARNA) and Eisai Inc. announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9 to 5 that the available data do not adequately demonstrate that the potential benefits of lorcaserin outweigh the potential risks, when used long-term in a population of overweight and obese individuals to allow marketing approval.

Assured Pharmacy (Pink Sheets:APHY), a leading specialty pharmacy group providing prescription medications to more than 3,000 sufferers of chronic pain announced that total sales on a same store basis for the month of August 2010 were $1,423,819 which equates to $64,719 per business day.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) today announced positive top-line results from its randomized, double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study designed to evaluate the urate-lowering activity and safety of several doses of BCX4208 alone and in combination with selected doses of allopurinol administered once-daily.

Bionovo, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI, BNVID), a drug discovery and development company focused on unmet needs in women's health and oncology, today announced that it has received notification from the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications department that it has regained compliance with the $1.00 minimum bid price requirement for continued listing set forth in Listing Rule 5450(a)(2), as its common stock has achieved a closing bid-price of $1.00 or more for 10 consecutive business days.

BioTime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTIM) announced that Chief Executive Officer Michael West, Ph.D. will deliver a keynote presentation this week at the Sixth Chinese Congress in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy being held September 16-19, 2010 in Suzhou, P.R. China.

Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated ("Corcept") (NASDAQ:CORT), a pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of severe metabolic and psychiatric disorders, today announced that Steven Lo has joined the company as Vice President, Commercial Operations.

Cord Blood America, Inc.(OTC Bulletin Board:CBAI), the umbilical cord blood stem cell preservation company focused on bringing the life saving potential of stem cells, a biological insurance policy, to families nationwide and internationally, said today that Matthew Schissler, its co-founder and CEO, was interviewed by analyst Francis Gaskins on the Company's current accomplishments and future business strategies.

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTX) has extended the term and modified the focus of its current distribution agreement with GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare’s sales rights allow its sales force to sell Cytori technology in the research markets in select European markets and the US.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) announced today that its Chief Business Officer, Michael Ostrach, plans to make a formal presentation at UBS Global Life Sciences Conference 2010 on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time (11:00 am Pacific Time) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, NY.

Generex Biotechnology Corporation (NasdaqCM: GNBT) today announced presentations in respect of the technologies and development products of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Antigen Express, Inc. (www.antigenexpress.com).

Grupo International Inc.  (PINKSHEETS: HIVV), President Ramon Richard announced that the Company will expand its newest "RiMart" Store.

GTx, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTXI), announced today that management will present a company overview on September 22 at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in New York City.

Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq:HGRD) ("HealthGrades") today announced the extension of the offer period for the previously announced tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of HealthGrades for $8.20 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, until 9:00 AM, New York City time, on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. (OTCBB: IMUC), a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel immune-based cancer therapies (the “Company”), today announced that it has contracted with the clinical research organization (CRO) Averion International Corp. to conduct its planned Phase II study of ICT-107, the Company’s lead cancer-vaccine candidate for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISTA), today announced that it has initiated a Phase 3 clinical program of ISTA's proprietary formulation of REMURA™ (bromfenac ophthalmic solution for dry eye) for alleviating the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said today that Colleen Goggins, 56, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group, has announced her retirement from the Company effective March 1, 2011, after a successful and distinguished career spanning almost 30 years.

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB:KBLB) announced that a research report on the Company has been issued by Emerging Growth Research.

LifeVantage Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board:LFVN), the maker of Protandim®, a patented dietary supplement that has been shown in a clinical trial to reduce the age-dependent increase in markers of oxidative stress, announced today fiscal year 2010 financial and operating results.

Medizone International, Inc. (OTCBB:MZEI) announced today it has filed a US Provisional patent application covering the use of AsepticSure™ for disinfecting sports equipment and training facilities.

MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCBB:MMRF) (www.mmrprovideos.com) announced today that it has installed its web-based MMRPro professional solution for digitizing medical records (www.mmrpro.com) in the Spalding Surgical Center of Beverly Hills.

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: NPSP) today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 6,880,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $6.00 per share, for an aggregate public offering price of $41.3 million.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ONXX) today announced that it will present at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (12:00 p.m. Pacific Time).

PacificHealth Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: PHLI), a leading sports nutrition company, announced today new portable single serve packs for their 4:1 ratio endurance drinks ACCELERADE™, ACCELERADE HYDRO™, and ENDUROX® R4® are now available.

Pall Corporation(NYSE:PLL) (Port Washington, New York), a leading global filtration solutions provider, reported strong overall results for fourth-quarter and full-year 2010, based on a strong year-round performance in the company's life sciences businesses and significant improvement in the Microelectronics segment.

PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (Nasdaq:PDLI) announced today that it has completed the retirement of the remaining $54.3 million in aggregate principal of the Company's 2.75% Convertible Subordinated Notes, due August 16, 2023 (the "2023 Notes") in exchange for 8.9 million shares of common stock and $4.2 million in cash.  

Protectus Medical Devices, Inc. (OTCQB:PTMD) (PINKSHEETS: PTMD), a developer and marketer of innovative safety medical devices, today announced that its management team continues to work on strategic projects to support the company's business operations over the next year.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: RNN), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing potential best in class oncology and CNS therapeutics, today announced that the Company will be attending the 18th Annual BioPartnering Europe Conference, on October 10 to 12, 2010, in London.

SMART Modular Technologies (WWH), Inc. ("SMART" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SMOD), a leading independent manufacturer of memory modules and solid state storage products, announced today that it plans to release its financial results for the fourthquarter and fiscal year ended August 27, 2010 after the market closes on Thursday, September 30, 2010.

TetriDyn Solutions, Inc. (OTCBB:TDYS), announced today that it has delivered a proven virtualization solution targeted specifically for hospital environments like Harms Memorial Hospital in American Falls, Idaho.

VitaminSpice (OTCBB: VTMS) (German WKN: A0YE4L) (www.vitaminspice.net) yesterday filed the 2nd quarter financials to bring VTMS current with its filing and the Ewill be removed from the end of the trading symbol in the next few days.

Warner Chilcott plc (Nasdaq:WCRX) today announced that its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Paul Herendeen is scheduled to speak at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in New York on Tuesday, September 21st at 12:30 p.m. ET. 




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