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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:13 EDTACHN, GILD, ABBV, IDIX, MRKAchillion 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 23, 2014
08:07 EDTGILDFDA Pediatric Advisory Committee to hold a meeting
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08:03 EDTABBVAbbVie to present several oncology pipeline studies
AbbVie announced that data from several clinical studies evaluating potential new medicines in the company's oncology pipeline will be presented at the upcoming 2014 European Society of Medical Oncology Annual Congress, September 26-30, in Madrid, Spain. Data being presented include results from a Phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of veliparib, or ABT-888, a poly polymerase inhibitor, in combination with two broad-acting chemotherapeutic medicines in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Results from a Phase 1 study of ABT-414 in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme will also be presented during an oral presentation. Reference Link
07:33 EDTMRKOphthotech names Michael Atieh as EVP, Chief Financial and Business Officer
Ophthotech Corporation (OPHT) announced that Michael G. Atieh has been named EVP, Chief Financial and Business Officer and Treasurer effective September 30. Atieh replaces Bruce A. Peacock, Chief Financial and Business Officer and Treasurer, who has notified the company of his intention to retire effective September 30. Atieh spent the majority of his career in the pharmaceutical industry with Merck and Co (MRK), where he held various senior level positions over a 20 year period including Senior Vice President-Merck Medco Managed Care, Vice President-U.S. Human Health, Vice President-Public Affairs, Vice President-Government Relations, and Treasurer.
September 22, 2014
09:15 EDTGILDIntercept recent weakness a buying opportunity, says Summer Street
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06:51 EDTMRKMerck to host conference call
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September 19, 2014
11:26 EDTGILDStocks with call strike movement; TSLA GILD
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09:37 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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06:25 EDTGILDGilead granted marketing aurhotization from European Commission for Zydelig
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06:11 EDTGILDGilead price target raised to $139 from $111 at Citigroup
Citigroup raised its price target for Gilead shares to $139 saying management looks "very optimistic" that FY15 hepatitis C treatment volumes could be up substantially over FY14 rates globally. Citi also expects recent buybacks to boost Q4 earnings substantially and that future stock buybacks will drive appreciation. The firm keeps a Buy rating on Gilead.
September 18, 2014
12:12 EDTGILDStocks with call strike movement; PIR GILD
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11:15 EDTABBVRepros sinks after panel backs tests for testosterone therapies
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08:48 EDTMRKNeogen's dairy genomic program to be marketed by Merck
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08:17 EDTGILDGilead trial failure not material, says FBR Capital
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06:10 EDTABBVFDA panel votes 20-1 to study changes to testosterone therapies
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September 17, 2014
11:52 EDTGILDStocks with call strike movement; X GILD
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09:33 EDTMRKMerck announced positive results from Phase 3 data for omarigliptin
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck, Sun Pharma enter into licensing agreement for Tildrakizumab
Merck and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, through their respective subsidiaries,announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for Merckís investigational therapeutic antibody candidate, tildrakizumab, which is currently being evaluated in Phase 3 registration trials for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis, a skin ailment. Under terms of the agreement, Sun Pharma will acquire worldwide rights to tildrakizumab for use in all human indications from Merck in exchange for an upfront payment of $80M. Merck will continue all clinical development and regulatory activities, which will be funded by Sun Pharma. Upon product approval, Sun Pharma will be responsible for regulatory activities, including subsequent submissions, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of the approved product. Merck is eligible to receive undisclosed payments associated with regulatory and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit through teen percentage rates on sales. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the requirements under the Hart Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
06:04 EDTGILDGilead's simtuzumab Phase 2 study for pancreatic cancer does not meet endpoint
Gilead announced results from a Phase 2 study evaluating simtuzumab, an investigational inhibitor of lysyl oxidase-like-2, in combination with gemcitabine for patients with previously untreated advanced pancreatic cancer. In the study, the addition of simtuzumab to gemcitabine did not significantly increase progression-free survival compared to placebo plus gemcitabine. There was no difference in adverse events between patients taking simtuzumab versus placebo. Simtuzumab is being evaluated in several ongoing Phase 2 trials, including for advanced colorectal cancer, myelofibrosis, as monotherapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and for liver fibrosis. Other agents in Gileadís oncology pipeline are currently being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
September 16, 2014
07:31 EDTMRKEuropean Association for Study of Diabetes to hold annual meeting
50th Annual Meeting of EASD to be held in Vienna, Austria on September 15-19.
07:25 EDTMRKMerck price target raised to $72 from $62 at SunTrust
After meeting with Merck's CEO and head of clinical development, SunTrust increased its price target on the company as the firm thinks that it is ideally positioned across five of the fastest growing therapeutic classes. The firm believes that the company's EPS growth rates from 2015-2020 will be three percentage points above Street estimates, while it has a first-mover advantage in oncology. It keeps a Buy rating on the shares.
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