Healthcare review : Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Amerigroup and Ampio Jump Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 09 July 2012 15:47
icon_MarketReportDOWNMajor U.S. stocks indices extended their losses for the third straight session on Monday as Spanish bond yields soared to dangerous level and ahead of earnings. However, the broader healthcare sector bucked the market trend with Health Care SPDR (ETF) rose 0.29% to $37.74. Shares of several Medicaid insurers jumped on acquisition of Amerigroup Corporation by WellPoint.

Shares of several Medicaid insurers are showing solid buying on news that WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) reached an agreement to acquire AMERIGROUP Corporation (NYSE:AGP) in exchange of $4.46 billion or $92 a share, , a 43% premium to Friday's closing price,  in all cash deal. Shares of AGP soared 38% to $88.85 and made a new 52-week high of $89.02. 

Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMPE) surged 4.15% after its Optima treatment for diabetes-related vision problems produced "encouraging" results in phase II testing. Ampio said it plans to discuss the next trial with the FDA at the end of the month.

Obagi Medical Properties (Nasdaq: OMPI) saw shares churn and trade as high as $16.35 before closing the day at $15.96+0.21 (1.33%). This after speculators demanded shares of  the acquisition candidate. Late in the day,  Cantor Fitzgerald's Irina Rivkind said the company could be attractive to "multiple  suitors." Rivkind called Obagi attractive given its "brand recognition" and reputation for efficacy. The analyst also pointed to the company's pristine balance sheet and "healthy" growth.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) is among the notable gainer and gained 11.50% to $56.07 after hitting a fresh 52-week high of $58.91. This morning, the company reported month on month jump in preliminary June estimates for its shipped paid Acthar prescriptions driven by company’s effort to boost physician awareness for its prescriptions through expansion of its sales force. Questcor showed that paid prescriptions treating Nephrotic Syndrome stood at 115 to 120 for June, up from May's 103. In April, shipments for NS were below 100. Prescriptions treating multiple sclerosis are estimated between 400 and 410, up from 365 in May.

The FDA grants priority review to Bayer AG’s (PINK:BAYRY) and Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) blood-clotting treatment Xarelto for use against deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and the prevention of venous thromboembolism in people who have already had it. However, Bayer withdraws its request to use Xarelto to lower the risk of blood clots in heart-stent patients.

Nanosphere, Inc.(NASDAQ:NSPH) was upgraded by analyst at Roth Capital to Buy from Neutral and set a price target of $4.50 a share. Roth's upgrade adds to one from Jefferies last week following FDA approval in June of Nanosphere's bloodstream infection test.

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