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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:13 EDTABBV, MRK, GILD, IDIX, ACHNAchillion surges after FDA lifts hold, buyout speculation continues
Shares of hepatitis C treatment maker Achillion (ACHN) are rising dramatically for a second day after Merck (MRK) yesterday announced that it would acquire another company in the space. Meanwhile, Achillion announced today that it had received favorable news from the FDA about resuming certain clinical trials and added that it had begun a Phase I trial of one of its hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments, ACH-3422. WHAT'S NEW: Achillion is rallying for a second straight day after Merck announced that it had acquired Idenix (IDIX). Like Achillion, Idenix is a smaller company that has developed HCV treatments and, also like Idenix, one of Achillion's HCV treatments is a nucleotide. Achillion earlier today announced that the FDA had removed its clinical hold on sovaprevir. As a result of the FDA's decision, Achillion will be able to conduct clinical trials of the drug, the company stated. The FDA placed a hold on the drug last year after a number of patients developed elevated liver enzymes while taking it. Also today, Achillion announced that it had begun dosing patients with ACH-3422 in a Phase I clinical trial. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today Edward Tenthoff, an analyst at research firm PiperJaffray, wrote that today's news positions Achillion as a takeover target. Additionally, the company could develop a nucleotide HCV treatment that is competitive with Gilead's successful Sovaldi, Tenthoff wrote. However, Tenthoff believes that potential buyers of Achillion may wait for more data on its products to be unveiled later this year before looking to bid. The analyst kept a Neutral rating on the stock. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Gilead and AbbVie (ABBV), whose stocks fell yesterday after Merck announced its acquisition, were defended today by RBC Capital and BMO Capital, respectively. RBC Capital expects sales of Gilead's Sovaldi to come in well above consensus estimates for 2015, potentially enabling the company's EPS to reach $8-$10. The market expects the sales of all HCV treatments to drop significantly in 2016, but the firm does not agree with this outlook and kept an Outperform rating on Gilead. Meanwhile, BMO Capital defended AbbVie. BMO still believes that the size and durability of the HCV market and AbbVie's franchise are underappreciated. The firm sees Merck as a significant competitor in HCV, but added that the potential of the assets it acquired from Idenix is "uncertain and somewhat risky." BMO kept an Outperform rating on AbbVie and continued to identify it as a top pick. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Achillion surged 54% to $6.54. The stock had advanced more than 47% yesterday. Also near noon, Gilead rose 0.7% to $79.54, while Abbvie fell 0.9% to $53.38.
News For ACHN;GILD;ABBV;IDIX;MRK From The Last 14 Days
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September 4, 2015
08:20 EDTABBVBass slams PTO for blocking patent challenge, Business Insider reports
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07:20 EDTMRKMerck selloff overdone, says SunTrust
After meeting with four senior Merck executives, SunTrust says that the selloff in the stock over concerns about the company's Januvia franchise are overdone. The firm expects the company's diabetes drugs to generate over $8.5B in revenue in 2020, up from less than $6B currently, through the launch of several new treatments within the next two years. It is upbeat on the outlook for the company's Keytruda cancer treatment and reiterates a $72 price target and Buy rating.
September 2, 2015
11:39 EDTABBVBass denied request for review of Biogen multiple sclerosis drug patent
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09:36 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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08:33 EDTGILDGilead says investigation of F/TAF-based regimens met primary 48-week objective
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08:04 EDTMRKMerck says FDA approves pediatric indication for Emend capsules
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September 1, 2015
09:04 EDTMRKMerck reports new analyses from IMPROVE-IT study with Vytorin
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07:31 EDTABBVBristol-Myers, AbbVie say FDA accepts BLA for Empliciti for priority review
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August 31, 2015
14:00 EDTABBVAbbVie September calls active
AbbVie September 65 and 67.5 calls are active on total call volume of 37K contracts (9K puts). September weekly call option implied volatility is at 37, September is at 36, October is at 31; compared to its 52-week range of 18 to 36. Active call volume suggests traders taking positions for price movement.
August 30, 2015
12:33 EDTMRKDividend-rich blue chips look attractive amid market volatility, Barron's says
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August 26, 2015
17:06 EDTGILDGilead AMBITION study results published in New England Journal of Medicine
Gilead Sciences (GILD) announced detailed results from the AMBITION study. In AMBITION, conducted in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), combination therapy with Letairis and tadalafil reduced the risk of clinical failure by 50% compared to the pooled Letairis and tadalafil monotherapy arm. These data were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Letairis, a selective endothelin type-A receptor antagonist, and tadalafil, a PDE5 inhibitor, are each approved in the United States, the European Union and other countries as once-daily treatments for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension with WHO/NYHA functional class II and III symptoms. Letairis is indicated in the U.S. to improve exercise ability and delay clinical worsening and in the EU under the tradename Volibris to improve exercise capacity. Tadalafil 40 mg is indicated in the U.S. and the EU to improve exercise ability and capacity, respectively. Preclinical data have suggested these therapies may have synergistic effects. However, combination use with Letairis and tadalafil is currently not approved.
08:53 EDTMRKMerck management to meet with SunTrust
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August 25, 2015
19:34 EDTGILD, ABBVExperts tell White House to expand use of Hepatitis C drugs, NYT says
Health care experts from the Public Health Service and the Advisory Council on H.I.V./AIDS have recommended that Medicaid officials expand the use of costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni, reports the New York Times, citing correspondence sent to the White House. The advisory council said current usage limitations on the drugs are "unreasonable," but it also suggested that manufacturers disclose drug development costs in the face of the significant price tags on modern Hepatitis C treatments. Reference Link
09:03 EDTABBVAcorda has major overhang removed by IPR denials, says Leerink
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August 24, 2015
13:36 EDTGILDBiotech correction presents some opportunities, says RBC Capital
RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee said he won't try to pick the short-term bottom in biotech, but contends that any macro weakness in China shouldn't have any major impact to financials or fundamentals for the sector given their minimal exposure there. If the market continues to be volatile, Yee recommends a focus on names with defensive characteristics, such as higher margins and free cash flow yield, naming Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) as some examples. The analyst adds that he likes Vertex (VRTX) on the pullback for "more aggressive" growth investors. Yee has Outperform ratings on all of the stocks mentioned above.
August 23, 2015
12:35 EDTMRKBiotech firms could see 'billions' in sales from new cancer drugs, Barron's says
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August 21, 2015
05:44 EDTMRKStocks with implied volatility movement; DIS MRK
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