EpiCept higher on trial initiation. SurModics seeks strategic alternatives. Third times a charm for Cypress Bio. After the bell: SciClone ends study, shares slip Print E-mail
By Mary Davila   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 19:38

Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on December 15, 2010.

After the bell, shares of SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCLN) fell after the company announced topline results from the Company's phase 2b clinical trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). The company said that the drug failed the meet the main goal of the trial and based on these results, would stop development of SCV-07. The experimental drug was being tested in combination with an antiviral pill. The company reported that the drug fell short in its efficacy. The company will however continue to develop SCV-07 for the preventative treatment for oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer with the phase IIb set to begin in early 2011.

Shares of SciClone slumped 31 cents or 7.77% to $3.68 in extended trading.

Earlier Wednesday:

Shares of EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange: EPCT) were on a roll today after the company announced that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has initiated a Phase II trial with crolibulin, an experimental drug for the treatment of thyroid cancer. The mid-stage trial will measure the drug's efficacy and safety in combination with the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin.

"We are encouraged that the NCI has recognized the potential value of crolibulin and initiated a trial in this very deadly disease," stated Jack Talley, EpiCept President and CEO. "A successful trial in this indication has the potential to significantly impact the lives of these patients and further validate EpiCept’s drug discovery platform."

Shares of EpiCept soared 23.43% or 16 cents to close trading at $0.86.

Shares of SurModics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SRDX) surged Wednesday after the company announced late Tuesday that is seeking strategic alternatives including a sale of the company's Pharmaceutical business. The company has hired Piper Jaffray as its financial advisor for the process. The Pharmaceutical unit has been a drag on earnings as of late and will lose more than $10 million in 2011.

"SurModics’ Board of Directors and management team have been intently focused on returning the Company to profitable growth," said Robert C. Buhrmaster, chairman of the Board of Directors. "In recent months, we have implemented initiatives intended to reduce the Company’s cost structure to bring it more in line with customer demand and expected revenue. We also put in place a new organizational structure that provides enhanced accountability, improved efficiency and more effective resource deployment."

On heavy volume, SurModics gained $1.97 or 19% to $12.37.

Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:CYPB) finally approved an aquisition of the company by Ramius and Royalty Pharma for $6.50 per shares in cash. The company had previously rejected offers of $4.00 and $6.00 by the hedge fund. Shares gained 70 cents or 12.17% to $6.45.

Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq:ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the company 510(k) clearance to market Lung Optimized Treatment, a new component of the CyberKnife® VSI System. The 510(k) clearance enables Accuray to provide physicians with greater flexibility in delivering radiosurgery treatments to patients with lung cancer, the most common and deadly cancer worldwide.

Recent studies have found radiosurgery to be an effective treatment option for medically inoperable lung cancer patients as it provides good local control and survival rates. Treating these tumors is particularly complex due to movement with respiration and nearby critical structures. This is especially the case for central and chest wall tumors, which are located in close proximity to such critical anatomical structures.

Lung Optimized Treatment offers the accuracy and steep dose fall off required to safely treat lung tumors, even those close to such critical structures. Simulation and comparison workflows, combined with unique tracking modes, allow the clinician to select from multiple, non-invasive options, providing lung SBRT patients the optimal non-invasive treatment option, regardless of tumor location.

"Lung Optimized Treatment is a new tool we developed to meet the clinical demand for more flexibility in treating lung cancer patients with radiosurgery and the desire to move away from reliance on fiducial markers," said Chris A. Raanes, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Accuray. "This new technology enables treatments throughout the lung without a single incision, all while safeguarding healthy tissue and structures around the tumor to ensure they are not damaged by radiation."

Shares rose 5.28% or 33 cents to $6.58.

ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex:ANX) today announced it has submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to schedule a meeting for the purpose of discussing its product candidate ANX-514 (docetaxel emulsion for injection).

APC Group, Inc. (OTC: APCU) today reported unaudited revenues increased 86%, to $481,745 for the twelve months ended November 30, 2010 compared to $258,984 for the twelve months ended November 30, 2009.

Axxess Pharma Inc. (PINKSHEETS: AXXE), a pharmaceutical company specializing in the marketing and distribution of both prescription and non-prescription medical products, is pleased to announce the acquisition of FORTEX Rubbing Oil® from Actium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

China-Biotics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHBT) the leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of probiotics products in China, today announced that the Company's 2010 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the "Annual Meeting") will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. (Shanghai time).

HORIZON HEALTH INTERNATIONAL CORP. (PINK SHEETS:HZHI) announced today that the Company's stockholders have approved a Two Hundred-for-One reverse stock split (Reverse Split) effective on the opening of trading December 16, 2010 under the symbol 'HZHID'.

Nutrition 21, Inc. (OTCBB: NXXI), the developer and marketer of clinically substantiated ingredients for dietary supplements, foods and beverages, and animal nutrition, today announced the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued its safety assessment supporting the use of chromium picolinate in foods intended for the general population in the European Union (EU).

NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA), a medical device company focused on developing products for minimally disruptive surgical treatments for the spine, announced today that they have executed a comprehensive settlement agreement ending their patent dispute with Orthofix International N.V. and The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation concerning the Trinity® Evolution™ tissue allograft.

Based upon recent executive meetings between RPC (NYSE Amex:RPC) and its China-based subsidiary Jade Pharmaceuticals Inc. (JPI), and Shanxi BaoTai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (BaoTai)-- a privately owned pharmaceutical manufacturing company located in Taiyuan, China -- RPC announced today JPI and BaoTai are proceeding to work towards a non-taxable merger of business assets with a revised transaction schedule.

Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:SVNT) today announced that Paul Hamelin, R.Ph., President of Savient will present at the 29th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Sequenom, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQNM) today announced the acceptance of a manuscript describing results from the R&D "locked-assay" verification study conducted by the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine.

Vicor Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:VCRT), today announced that Edward F. Lundy, MD, PhD, was named Chairman of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board, effective December 1.

Unity Management Group, Inc. (PINKSHEETS:UYMG) is a Health Resource Company specializing in Physician and Hospital Practice Management, Medical Discount Plans, Business Services, Billing Software and Technologies.

WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genomic analysis systems, today announced that its Malaysian subsidiary, WaferGen Biosystems (M) Sdn. Bhd., has signed a purchase agreement with an investor for a $5 million private placement of the Malaysian subsidiary's Series C-1 redeemable convertible preference shares.

"Featured Content" profiles are meant to provide awareness of these companies to investors in the small-cap and growth equity community and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold these securities. BiomedReports is not paid or compensated by newswires to disseminate or report news and developments about publicly traded companies, but may from time to time receive compensation for advertising, data, analytics and investor relation services from various entities and firms. Full disclosures should be read in the 'About Us Section'.

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