Covance Raises Low End Of Prior FY 2011 Revenue Guidance To A Range In Line With Analysts' Estimates. Astra's Brilinta to be priced at premium to Plavix. Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 18:17
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on July 27, 2011.

Covance Inc. (NYSE:CVD) announced that for fiscal 2011, it expects revenue growth in the mid-to-high single digit range and pro forma earnings to be in the range of $2.60-$2.80 per diluted share (EPS), excluding costs associated with previously announced restructuring activities.

This range assumes no new strategic alliances with clients and foreign exchange rates remain at June 30, 2011 levels. For the third quarter of 2011, it expects a continued sequential increase in net revenues and pro forma earnings per share of approximately $0.70. The Company reported revenues of $1.925 billion fiscal 2010; revenues of $518 million in the second quarter of 2011.  According to I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts are expecting the Company to report EPS of $0.71 on revenues of $513.4 million for the third quarter of 2011; EPS of $2.73 on revenues of $2.046 billion for fiscal 2011.

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AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) said it will price its recently approved blood thinner Brilinta at a premium to widely used rival Plavix in the United States.  The British drugmaker confirmed on Wednesday a wholesaler acquisition cost for Brilinta of $7.24 per day, about 19 percent higher than Plavix, which is sold by Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY).

In a huge global clinical study that was the basis for Brilinta's approval, the anti-clotting drug proved safer and more effective than Plavix, although the results among North American patients in the study were less clear cut. Plavix, the world's second biggest-selling prescription drug with annual sales of about $9 billion, has a wholesaler acquisition cost (WAC) of about $6.08 per day.

Eli Lilly & Co.'s (NYSE:LLY) Effient, another rival blood clot and stroke preventer that has been slow to gain traction against Plavix, has a WAC of about $5.78 per day, or 5 percent cheaper than Plavix.

Brilinta, which is already available in Europe and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week, is expected to start selling in the United States next month. "This price seems high to us given the competitive dynamics in the antiplatelet category," Sanford Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson said in a research note.  He noted that AstraZeneca has a very short window to get Brilinta established in the United States before it finds itself competing with much cheaper generic versions of Plavix.

The blockbuster drug is set to lose U.S. patent protection in May of 2012.


Also Wednesday:


Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced the completion of patient recruitment for the ongoing Phase 3 trial with perifosine in refractory advanced colorectal cancer.

Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:CADX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on in-licensing, developing and commercializing proprietary products principally for use in the hospital setting, today announced that it will release its second quarter ended June 30, 2011 financial results on Wednesday, August 3, 2011.

HeartWare International, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTWR, ASX:HIN) plans to release financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011, after the close of the U.S. stock markets on Thursday, August 4, 2011.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:KERX) today announced completion of patient enrollment in its Phase 3 registration trial of KRX-0401 (perifosine) for the treatment of refractory, advanced colorectal cancer.

Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq:NKTR) will announce its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011 on Thursday, August 4, 2011, after the close of U.S.-based financial markets.

PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ:PDLI)
today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011.

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGMO) announced the publication of a study demonstrating the use of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to produce genetically modified pigs.

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ:SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announces that Susan Kilsby will join the Board of Directors on September 1st, 2011.

Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE:SCR), a leading pharmaceutical company specializing in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of branded generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals in China, today announced that it will report its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011 on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, before the market opens in the United States.

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGMO) today reported second quarter 2011 financial results and accomplishments.

STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM)
, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, a world center of excellence in advanced robotics and one of Italy's most prestigious universities, have today announced the creation of a joint laboratory for research and innovation in bio-robotics, smart systems and microelectronics.



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