Roche Decides Not to Extend its Offer For Illumina; Vertex Advances Goal of Further Treatment for People With Hepatitis C Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:42
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on April 18, 2012.

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY)
released the following statement based on preliminary estimates indicating the re-election of the incumbent directors of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) at the Illumina annual meeting:

In view of the apparent re-election of the incumbent directors of Illumina, Roche has decided not to extend its $51.00 cash tender offer for all of the shares of Illumina. The offer will expire at 6:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 20, 2012.

Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche said: “We continue to hold Illumina and its management in very high regard but, with access only to public information about Illumina’s business and prospects, we do not believe that a price above Roche’s offer for Illumina of $51.00 per share would be in the interest of Roche’s shareholders.” Schwan continued: “We have throughout this process desired to engage in a constructive dialogue with Illumina’s management, listen to its views of value and prospects, and offer a fair and adequate price to Illumina’s shareholders. But in the absence of such discussions, our duty to be disciplined with the assets of Roche’s shareholders has led to this decision. Roche will continue to consider options and opportunities to develop further its portfolio of businesses in order to expand its diagnostics leadership position.”

About the Offer - On January 27, 2012, Roche commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina for $44.50 per share in cash and increased its offer on March 29, 2012 to $51.00 per share in cash for an aggregate of approximately $6.8 billion on a fully diluted basis. The increased offer represents a substantial premium to Illumina’s unaffected market prices: a premium of 88% over Illumina’s closing stock price on December 21, 2011 – the day before market rumors about a potential transaction between Roche and Illumina drove Illumina’s stock price significantly higher – and an 84% premium over the one-month historical average and a 64% premium over the three-month historical average of Illumina’s share price, both as of December 21, 2011.


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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX)
announced data from a retrospective subanalysis of the Phase 2 PROVE 2 study that showed that 100 percent (12/12) of patients with the IL28B CC genotype who were new to treatment achieved a viral cure (sustained viral response, or SVR) with a total of 12 weeks of treatment with INCIVEK™ (telaprevir) tablets, pegylated-interferon and ribavirin.

These data support Vertex's ongoing Phase 3b study that is evaluating a total treatment duration as short as 12 weeks in people with the IL28B CC genotype. Data from the PROVE 2 subanalysis and 13 other abstracts on INCIVEK and Vertex's medicines in development for the treatment of hepatitis C will be presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) in Barcelona, Spain, April 18 to 22, 2012.



Also Wednesday:  



Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A)
today introduced the Agilent 1290 Infinity Quaternary LC system, the first quaternary UHPLC system to deliver the accuracy and precision of binary systems.

Results from AspenBio Pharma’s (NASDAQ: APPY) recently completed 503-patient pilot study of AppyScore™ will be presented from the podium at the upcoming annual scientific meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) being held May 9-12, 2012 in Chicago.

BioTime, Inc. (NYSE Amex:BTX)
, a biotechnology company that develops and markets products in the field of regenerative medicine, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Michael D. West, Ph.D. will present at the Future Leaders in the Biotech Industry conference on Friday, April 20, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EDT, at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City.

The law firm of Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation, has commenced an investigation into possible breaches of fiduciary duty to current shareholders of Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSI) (“Catalyst”) and other violations of state law by the board of directors of Catalyst relating to the proposed acquisition of the company by SXC Health Solutions Corp. (“SXC”).

Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) announced today that it has signed a two-year agreement with the General Hospital of Vienna (AKH) to supply the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets.

Dyax Corp. (NASDAQ:DYAX)
will host a webcast and conference call, including an open question and answer session, Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD)
today announced that 30 abstracts examining the company’s products and investigational agents for hepatitis B and C have been selected for presentation at the 47th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (International Liver Congress 2012) taking place April 18-22 in Barcelona, Spain.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. (OTCBB: IMUC-NEWS)
, a clinical stage biotechnology company that is focused on developing new immune-based products to treat and diagnose cancer, announced today that Manish Singh, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company will be presenting at the 19th Annual Future Leaders in the Biotech Industry Conference in the Millennium Broadway Hotel & Conference Center in New York City.

Impax Pharmaceuticals, the branded products division of Impax Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPXL), today announced that data from the ASCEND-PD Phase III clinical study involving IPX066 will be presented in a Platform Presentation at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans, Louisiana, held from April 21 to April 28.

Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX)
, a bioscience company focused on developing clean, sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, today announced the opening of its new office in Cologne, Germany.

NeuroMetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NURO)
, a medical device company focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the neurological complications of diabetes reported today that it has filed a premarket notification, or 510(k), with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its SENSUS Pain Therapy device.

Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB:NVLX)
reports that the Chairman of its associate company, SG Austria, Prof. Walter H. Gunzburg, has been invited to present data about the proprietary encapsulation of living cell technology, in particular for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors, at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Organisation for Oncology and Translational Research (OOTR).

POZEN Inc. (NASDAQ: POZN)
, a pharmaceutical company committed to transforming medicine that transforms lives, announced today that it plans to release first quarter 2012 results on May 1, 2012, before the market opens.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP)
today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sucampo AG, has implemented a Named Patient Program (NPP) to permit access to AMITIZA (lubiprostone) for patients with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in the European Union (EU), Iceland and Norway.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA)
presented preclinical results today at the 3rd European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland that show ganetespib, a potent inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), equally inhibits growth of both crizotinib-sensitive and -resistant cancer cells driven by the EML4-ALK fusion protein regardless of ALK mutation status.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA)
today announced new data from the Company’s expanding central nervous system (CNS) portfolio will be featured at the 64th American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, April 21-28, 2012.

Viral Genetics (Pinksheets: VRAL)
today published its April 2012 Letter to Shareholders.

As flu season approaches in Southeast Asia, Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) today announced a donation of 375,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine to Lao People’s Democratic Republic (referred to as Lao PDR or Laos).

Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG)
today named Reuben Slone senior vice president of supply chain management. In this position, Slone will have leadership responsibility for distribution, transportation, systems integration and engineering, Lean and Six Sigma supply chain initiatives and community outreach, reporting to President of Community Management Mark Wagner.



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