InterMune sells Hep C drug rights, shares rise. Immucor falls on forecast Print
By Staff   
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:01
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on October 06, 2010.

InterMune, Inc. (Nasdaq:ITMN) after the bell today announced that it has sold worldwide development and commercialization rights to danoprevir (also known as RG7227 or ITMN-191) to Hoffman-La Roche Inc. and F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. for $175 million in cash. In connection with this transaction, the collaboration agreement that InterMune and Roche entered into in October 2006 has been terminated. In addition, the companies are actively exploring ways to continue their ongoing work together on other HCV research programs. InterMune noted that as a result of this transaction, the company will make no further investment in danoprevir and that, including net proceeds from the transaction, it currently expects to have a cash balance of approximately $290 million at the end of 2010.

Dan Welch, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune said, "After conducting a careful review of our strategy and financial position, we have decided to divest our rights to danoprevir to Roche. This transaction provides a very substantial non-dilutive cash infusion that allows us to continue to independently and aggressively pursue the registration and commercialization of pirfenidone in the US and EU, and eliminates our obligation to make significant ongoing investments related to the further development and commercialization of danoprevir. We are now in a very strong financial position that provides us with the resources and flexibility to maximize the value of pirfenidone, our largest and nearest-term value creation opportunity."

After the bell, shares of InterMune soared $1.25 or more than 9%.

Immucor, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLUD), a global leader in providing automated instrument-reagent systems to the blood transfusion industry, after the market close today reported financial results for its fiscal 2011 first quarter ended August 31, 2010.

Highlights: *Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $83.6 million, up 1% from $83.1 million in the prior year quarter. *Gross margin was 71.3% in the quarter compared with 71.9% in the prior year quarter. *Diluted earnings per share totaled $0.30 in the quarter compared with $0.30 for the same period last year. *Cash flow from operations for the quarter ended August 31, 2010 was $28.9 million compared with $24.5 million in the prior year. *Worldwide instrument orders for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 were 26 Echo(R) orders and 18 NEO(TM) orders. NEO is the Company's new high volume instrument that is currently in the process of being launched worldwide.

"While the first quarter earnings met our expectations, we have begun to see the impact of the economy in our financial performance, as evidenced by our Echo orders and reagent sales volume for the quarter," stated Dr. Gioacchino De Chirico, Immucor's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Shares of Immucor fell $3.53 or 17% to $16.89 in extended trading.

Affymax, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFFY) today after the bell announced that it has received a decision from the arbitration panel reviewing its dispute against certain subsidiaries of Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). The panel has determined that Affymax and JNJ are co-owners of certain intellectual property, including U.S. patent numbers 5,773,569, 5,830,851, 5,986,047, among others related to erythropoietin receptor agonists. In addition, the ruling determined that JNJ is sole owner of JNJ’s U.S. patent number 5,767,078 (‘078) and certain other related patents and patent applications in Europe, Japan, Canada and Australia.

"We are evaluating this decision to determine potential next steps in this litigation," said Arlene M. Morris, chief executive officer of Affymax. "We continue to believe that these patents and patent applications do not encompass Hematide and that we can manufacture and sell the product upon approval."

Affymax does not believe the claims in the ‘078 patent are valid. Even in the event that claims of this patent were found to be valid, Affymax believes that they do not encompass Hematide. The ‘078 patent purports to cover methods of dimerizing and activating the EPO receptor using covalently linked peptide monomers which do not activate the EPO receptor unless dimerized. Affymax asserts that Hematide does not infringe any of the claimed methods described in the ‘078 patent.

Shares dropped 33 cents, more than 5% to $6.15.

Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (Amex:AEN) announced completion of 100% enrollment in Part 2 of its clinical study, A Prospective, Randomized, Double Blind Trial of a Novel Oral Zinc Cysteine Preparation in Alzheimer's Disease (CopperProof-2).

Part 2 of the CopperProof-2 study is designed as a 60-subject comparator study. Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment subjects are randomized on a 50:50 basis to receive either Zinthionein or matching placebo. After 3 and 6 months on clinical trial material, serum measurements of zinc and copper are taken and any changes in cognitive function using standard Alzheimer's disease clinical tests are recorded.

ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: ANX) today announced it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its U.S. patent application entitled "Compositions for Delivering Highly Water Soluble Drugs." The patent claims are directed to formulations of vinorelbine bitartrate and provide protection for the Company's lead product candidate, ANX-530 (vinorelbine injectable emulsion), or Exelbine. The Notice of Allowance is the USPTO's official communication that the examination of the patent application has been successfully completed and that, upon timely payment of applicable fees, a patent will be issued. Once issued, before taking into account patent term extension, the patent will provide coverage for Exelbine until July 2024.

GenVec, Inc. (Nasdaq:GNVC) announced today that SAIC-Frederick, Inc. has executed its first option period (year two) under a previously announced four year-contract with GenVec for the development of influenza and HIV vaccines in support of the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GenVec will receive up to approximately $3.5 million for the second year of activities under the SAIC contract. This funding increases the total value of the contract, originally valued at $22 million, to up to approximately $24 million. These funds will continue to support the development of new HIV and influenza vaccine candidates based on GenVec's proprietary adenovirus vector and production cell line technologies. Under the contract, the vaccines would be comprised of genetic material supplied by the VRC and adenoviral vectors supplied by GenVec.

Inergetics, Inc. (OTCBB:NRTI), a leader in targeted product development for the Clinical Nutrition and Sports Supplement Markets, announces that the Company has selected Aida Aragon, an expert Sales, Marketing and Brand Management Executive with several years of experience in the sports Supplement industry, to oversee and execute a national sales and marketing campaign to promote the Company's upcoming product launch of its Surgex(R) Sports Nutritional Supplement.

Ms. Aragon possesses 16 years of sales marketing experience, spending nearly the last decade holding high level positions in the sports beverage industry. From 2006 to 2008, Aida served as Sales and Marketing Coordinator for CytoSport, the creator of Muscle Milk, reporting directly to the company's CEO, Michael Pickett. Here she played a pivotal role in executing successful specialty store rollouts and increasing Muscle Milk's national brand awareness. Prior to that, she managed Specialty Markets for EAS, which markets and sells sports supplement products under the EAS Myoplex brand, playing a key role in several of its promotional campaigns from 2002 to 2005.

Vicor Technologies, Inc. (OTC.BB:VCRT), today announced that Vicor has selected Dell's Healthcare and Life Sciences division to serve as its worldwide hardware partner for the Company's PD2i Analyzer and PD2i CA (Cardiac Analyzer). According to the terms of the agreement, Dell will create Vicor-labeled laptop computers specifically customized to Vicor's specifications and package them for Vicor's worldwide distribution. Vicor Technologies is a biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative, non-invasive medical devices using its patented, proprietary PD2i® nonlinear algorithm and software. Vicor Technologies is a biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative, non-invasive medical devices using its patented, proprietary PD2i® nonlinear algorithm and software. Vicor is currently in the process of commercializing diagnostics that accurately risk stratify specific target populations for future pathological events, including congestive heart failure patients for cardiac death resulting from arrhythmia or pump failure, diabetics for diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN), and trauma victims for imminent death absent immediate lifesaving intervention.

Also Wednesday:
The Amergence Group (PINKSHEETS:AMNG), a company that focuses on developing, nurturing, and rapidly expanding selected emerging or "disruptive" companies across a wide range of industries and disciplines, announced today that its strategic partner, Altitude Organic Licensing Corp. has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire the National Medical Marijuana Association LLC.
Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI; TSE: ANP) today announced that on October 4, 2010, the Company was notified that QSR Holdings, Inc. ("QSR"), as the representative for the former stockholders of Quill Medical, Inc. ("QMI"), made a formal demand to the American Arbitration Association naming as respondents the Company, together with its subsidiaries QMI and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (US), Inc.
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARNA) and Eisai Inc. announced today upcoming lorcaserin presentations at Obesity 2010, the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society, in San Diego, California.
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) announced today that it is providing medicines at no cost to qualifying patients at the Primary Care Center Pharmacy in Sacramento, California.
BioElectronics Corporation (PINKSHEETS: BIEL), developers of innovative pain-relieving medical devices, today announced an expansion of marketing and distribution efforts for its new Allay™ menstrual pain therapy device to the United Kingdom.
Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) today announced that more than 45 company- and partner-sponsored platform and poster presentations will be presented during the 26th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Gothenburg, Sweden, October 13 - 16, 2010.
Bohai Pharmaceuticals Group, Inc. (OTCBB/OTCQB: BOPH), a China-based pharmaceutical company engaged in the production, manufacturing and distribution of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China, today announces the release of a white paper on China's Traditional Chinese Medicine Market by market analyst Arthur Goldgaber of
Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) announced today that its third quarter 2010 financial results will be released on Thursday, October 28, 2010, after the close of the stock market.
CONMED Corporation (NASDAQ: CNMD) announced today that it expects to report third quarter 2010 financial results before the market opens on Thursday, October 28, 2010, and will also hold a conference call live over the Internet at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time that same day.
Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB:CORX) announced that the rights to a published patent application entitled, "Pharmacological Modulation of Positive AMPA Receptor Modulator Effects on Neurotrophin Expression" (PCT/US2007/066947), has been licensed exclusively to Cortex from the University of California.
Esterline Corporation (NYSE: ESL), leading specialty manufacturer serving aerospace/defense markets, today announced that its Montreal-based CMC Electronics (CMC) subsidiary has been selected by Boeing to supply the Flight Management System (FMS), known as the CMA-9000, for the avionics upgrade of the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 fleet of 59 tanker jets.
HORIZON HEALTH INTERNATIONAL CORP. (PINK SHEETS:HZHI)  is pleased to announce additional FDA Label application of Enteric Lactoferrin.
Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) announced today that its Humana Pharmacy Solutions division is one of only five pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs) in the U.S. to agree to the highest level of transparency for prescription-drug pricing set by the HR Policy Association.
ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISTA), today announced positive preliminary results from a Phase 1/2 clinical study of bepotastine besilate nasal spray conducted in Canada for the treatment of symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis, the inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergies.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Crucell N.V. (NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq:CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) today announced an agreement whereby Johnson & Johnson, through an affiliate, would acquire all outstanding equity of Crucell that it does not already own for approximately euro 1.75 billion in a recommended cash tender offer (the Offer).
Lotus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:LTUS) a fast-growing, profitable developer, manufacturer and seller of medicine and drugs in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"), announced today that the Company has retained Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP ("SRFF") as its general corporate legal counsel.
Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), a leading RNAi-based drug discovery and development company, today announced that the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has issued a Notice of Acceptance for patent application 566281.
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIPI), a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing targeted therapeutic and imaging radiopharmaceuticals for use in oncology, today announced that the Company has received an eleventh extension of its waiver agreement with its Bond holders, allowing debt restructuring discussions to continue.
Neoprobe Corporation (OTCBB: NEOP), a diversified developer of innovative oncology surgical and diagnostic products, today announced that it has completed a pre-NDA assessment for Lymphoseek® with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE:OCR) will release its third-quarter 2010 financial results before the market opens on Thursday, October 28, 2010.
Ophthalmic Imaging Systems (OIS) (OTCBB:OISI), a leading digital imaging and informatics company, today announced that it will launch new diagnostic imaging and informatics products at the International Vision Expo West being held October 7-9 and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)'s joint meeting with the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) being held October 16-19.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PPHM), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and viral infections, today announced the upcoming presentation of interim data from an ongoing Phase II clinical trial evaluating the company's investigational brain cancer therapy Cotara® in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the deadliest form of brain cancer.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) today announced the completion of its acquisition of FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held drug discovery and clinical development company.
Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGNX) today announced the award of a grant totaling $4,143,652 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Progenic's program to develop novel monoclonal antibodies to treat Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:REGN) today announced that it intends, subject to market conditions, to offer 4,500,000 shares of its common stock pursuant to an underwriting agreement with Citi acting as the sole bookrunner. 
Rosetta Genomics, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), a leading developer and provider of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics announces today that a peer-reviewed article entitled "hsa-miR-191 is a Candidate Oncogene Target for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Therapy" appears in the online version of Cancer Research.
SensiVida Medical Technologies Inc., (PINKSHEETS:SVMT), a developer and provider of minimally invasive diagnostic technologies and devices, announced today positive findings from a U.S. market reimbursement assessment for its Allergy Test System
Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today released the findings of its 2010 Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Survey, which highlights that 53 percent of critical infrastructure providers report that their networks have experienced what they perceived as politically motivated cyber attacks.
Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB: SGYP), a developer of new drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases, announced today positive results in a Phase IIa clinical trial of plecanatide (SP-304) in patients with chronic constipation.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) announced today that more than 20 scientific abstracts supporting its multiple sclerosis (MS) franchise will be presented at the 26th Annual Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Gothenburg, Sweden, October 13-16, 2010.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, announced that it will release its financial results for the third quarter of 2010 before the market opens on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, and will hold a conference call on the same day at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced today that it is reviewing strategic alternatives for Capsugel, which may include a divestiture.  
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ:WAG) today announced that David J. Brailer, MD, PhD, Chairman of Health Evolution Partners, has been elected to its board of directors.
ZOLL Medical Corporation (NasdaqGS: ZOLL), a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions, announced today that more than 30,000 patients at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) have been prescribed the LifeVest® Wearable Defibrillator.

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