Martek Biosciences taken out for $1.1 billion. Emisphere shares gain on Nordisk agreement. EpiCept higher on Israel approval Print E-mail
By BioMedReports.com Staff   
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 20:18
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on December 21, 2010.


After the bell, shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARNA) jumped 8 % after the company announced today that Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer, will host a conference call and webcast tomorrow, Wednesday, December 22, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (5:30 a.m. Pacific Time) to provide an update following the completion of an end-of-review meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration for the lorcaserin New Drug Application.

Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated (NASDAQ:CORT) jumped more than 7% in extended trading today after the company announced that it will host a conference call tomorrow, Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (5:30 a.m. Pacific Time) whereas management will discuss the top-line results of its Phase 3 trial of CORLUX for the treatment of Cushing's Syndrome.

Earlier Tuesday:

Shares of Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq:MATK) surged more than 35% Tuesday after it was announced that Netherlands based Royal DSM, the worlds largest maker of vitamins, will acquire Martek for $31.50 a share cash. The $1.09 billion buyout gives DSM access to Marteks nutrition division which primarily provides ingrediants for infant formula.

Shares of Martek jumped $8.31, or 35.57% to $31.67.

Shares of Emisphere Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:EMIS) got a boost today after the company announced that they have entered into an exclusive development and license agreement with Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO) to develop and commercialize oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's insulins, which have the potential of treating diabetes, using Emisphere's Eligen Technology. This is the second license agreement between the two companies. The first agreement, for the development of oral formulations of GLP-1 receptor agonists, was signed in June 2008, with a potential drug currently in a Phase I clinical trial.

The Insulin agreement includes $57.5 million in potential product development and sales milestone payments to Emisphere, of which $5 million will be payable upon signing, as well as royalties on sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not made public.

Shares of Emisphere gained 19 cents or 8.44% to close the day at $2.44.

Shares of EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange: EPCT) jumped more than 7% today after the company reported that the Israeli Ministry of Health has approved the marketing application for Ceplene, indicated for remission maintenance and prevention of relapse in adult patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in first remission. Megapharm Ltd. is EpiCept’s partner in Israel and upon Ministry of Health approval of labeling and other technical matters the company is expected to launch Ceplene in the first quarter of 2011.

EpiCept also anticipates that new marketing applications for Ceplene will be filed in several non-EU European and Pacific Rim countries in early 2011 by its marketing partner Meda AB.

Shares of Radient Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:RPC), as reported earlier today on BioMedReports.com, are breaking out and look set to go higher ahead of an ambitious debt-to-equity plan recently approved by the company. Shares hit an intra-day high of 71 cents before pulling back and consolidating at 66 cents, up 8 cents or 13.79%.

ERT (Nasdaq:ERES), a global provider of technology and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, confirmed the effective date of the previously announced retirement of Dr. Michael J. McKelvey, its President and CEO, is December 21, 2010.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAZZ) announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent related to Xyrem® (sodium oxybate) oral solution titled "Microbiologically Sound and Stable Solutions of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate Salt for the Treatment of Narcolepsy."

MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAPP) announced completion of the LEVADEX™ open-label safety trial.

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq:MLAB), a Lakewood, Colorado based manufacturer of electronic instruments and disposables announced the acquisition of the biological indicators business of Apex Laboratories, Inc., a North Carolina based company.

Ophthalmic Imaging Systems, (OTC:OISI), a leading ophthalmic digital imaging and informatics company, announced Abraxas EMR VERSION 4.1.7is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on December 17, 2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable ELIGIBLE PROVIDER certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:PARD), a biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative oncology therapies, announced it has completed the voluntary prepayment of the $12.35 million aggregate principal, interest and fees due under its senior secured loan facility with GE Business Financial Services Inc. and Silicon Valley Bank.

Savanna East Africa, Inc. (OTC:NVAE) is set to be featured in on-demand Greenfield Program Webcast.

David H. Fater, CEO of Vicor Technologies, Inc. (OTC:VCRT), announced Mitchell Scott Karl, MD, will join the Company's Scientific Advisory Board and serve as the Company's Associate Medical Director, a new part-time position.




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