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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:13 EDTACHN, ABBV, MRK, GILD, IDIXAchillion 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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February 24, 2015
05:17 EDTMRKMerck collaborates with Medicines Patent Pool to expand Raltegravir access
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February 23, 2015
16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; February 23, 2015
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11:19 EDTABBVEnanta announces JAMA publication of AbbVie VIEKIRA PAK study results
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11:04 EDTABBVAbbVie reports VIEKIRA PAK HPV/HIV co-infection study results published
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09:39 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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08:27 EDTMRKNGM Biopharmaceuticals to hold a teleconference
NGM Biopharm discusses the strategic collaboration with Merck to discover, develop and commercialize novel biologic therapeutics on a teleconference to be held on February 23 at 9:30 am. Webcast Link
07:16 EDTGILDMylan signs exclusive agreement with Gilead to distribute Solvaldi, Harvoni
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07:04 EDTMRKMerck, NGM Biopharmaceuticals announce multi-year collaboration
NGM Biopharmaceuticals and Merck announced they have entered into a multi-year collaboration to research, discover, develop and commercialize novel biologic therapies across a wide range of therapeutic areas. This agreement will become effective upon the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The collaboration includes multiple drug candidates currently in preclinical development at NGM, including NP201, which is being evaluated for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. NGM will lead the research and development of the existing preclinical candidates and have the autonomy to identify and pursue other discovery stage programs at its discretion. Merck will have the option to license all resulting NGM programs following human proof of concept trials. If Merck exercises this option, Merck will lead global product development and commercialization for the resulting products, if approved. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will make an upfront payment to NGM of $94M and will purchase a 15 percent equity stake in NGM for $106M at a price per share that represents a 20% premium to NGM’s most recent financing. Merck will commit up to $250M to fund all of NGM’s efforts under the initial five-year term of the collaboration, with the potential for additional funding if certain conditions are met. Prior to Merck initiating a Phase 3 study for a licensed program, NGM may elect to either receive milestone and royalty payments or, in certain cases, to co-fund development and participate in a global cost and revenue share arrangement of up to 50%. The agreement also provides NGM with the option to participate in the co-promotion of any co-funded program in the United States. Merck will have the option to extend the research agreement for two additional two-year terms.
February 20, 2015
10:33 EDTABBVBattleground update: AbbVie named top global pick at Jefferies
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07:23 EDTABBVAbbVie replaces Pfizer as top global pharma pick at Jefferies
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07:08 EDTMRKAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to hold annual meeting
2015 Annual Meeting of AAAAI is being held in Houston, Texas on February 20-24.
February 19, 2015
12:13 EDTABBVAbbVie increases quarterly dividend 4% to 51c per share
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09:35 EDTGILDOption volume leaders
Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR MCD WMT PBR SPWR WFM GILD FB SCTY according to Track Data.
08:38 EDTMRKNewLink reports clinical development milestone achieved with Merck for rVSV-EBOV
NewLink Genetics (NLNK) announced that it had received notification from Merck (MRK) that the milestone event specified in the license and collaboration agreement between the two companies relating to the further development of the rVSV-EBOV, Ebola, vaccine candidate had been achieved. Under the terms of the agreement, NewLink Genetics will receive a payment of $20M in connection with the achievement of the milestone. The milestone pertains to the initiation of a key clinical trial for the vaccine.
February 18, 2015
09:37 EDTGILDOption volume leaders on open
Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR CELG APO NFLX AXP APA LNKD C GILD according to Track Data.
February 17, 2015
18:06 EDTABBVPaulson & Co gives quarterly update on stakes
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17:13 EDTGILDPoint72 gives quarterly update on stakes
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16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; February 17, 2015
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13:18 EDTGILDOmega Advisors gives quarterly update on stakes
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09:40 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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