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August 20, 2014
10:53 EDTAGN, VRX, SLXPAnalysts say Salix takeover would boost Allergan
Acquiring Salix (SLXP) would be a positive move for Allergan (AGN), two research firms indicated in notes to investors today. WHAT'S NEW: After The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Allergan had approached Salix and at least one other drug maker about a possible takeover as it fends off Valeantís (VRX) hostile buyout attempt, William Blair analyst Tim Lugo wrote that a merger between Allergan and Salix would produce a "very attractive" combined company. Salix would provide Allergan with significant growth, according to Lugo. The regulatory risk of Salix's treatment for Iiritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea has been reduced as a result of positive data on the drug, the analyst stated. Moreover, a combination of Allergan and Salix would have "more obvious value" next year than a combination of Allergan and Valeant, Lugo believes. Salix provides more growth opportunities for Allergan than Valeant, Lugo wrote. Allergan could bid around $192 per share for Salix, according to the analyst, who kept Outperform ratings on both Allergan and Salix. Meanwhile, analysts at Wells Fargo believe that a largely debt financed acquisition of Salix by Allergan could boost Allergan's earnings by 8% in 2015 and 2016, and 11%-12% in 2017-2018. Including share repurchases, the deal could increase Allergan's 2016 earnings per share outlook to $11 from $10, the firm believes. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, following rallies yesterday, Salix fell 3.5% to $155 and Allergan lost 0.5% to $161.
News For AGN;SLXP;VRX From The Last 14 Days
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September 28, 2015
11:28 EDTVRXValeant mentioned cautiously in a Seeking Alpha article
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10:20 EDTVRXOptions with increasing implied volatility
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08:24 EDTVRXValeant CEO tells employees bear thesis in media incorrect
Valeant Pharmaceuticals disclosed that it distributed a letter today from its CEO Michael Pearson to employees relating to recent changes in Valeant's stock price. The letter stated in part, "A number of you have asked me and other senior members of our management team about the significant drop in our stock price - especially over the past 5 trading days. While the entire pharmaceutical and biotech sector has been impacted by market volatility and numerous press articles about pharmaceutical pricing, we have been hit particularly hard. After talking with a number of investors and observing the concerns and assertions in the media, I thought it would be helpful to give you my perspective on the two main issues worrying investors: 1) Concern that our business model and strategy is dependent upon large price increases in our U.S. pharmaceutical business, 2) Concern around our exposure to U.S. government drug price reimbursement. I can assure you that this bear thesis is incorrect on both accounts...Turning to the first concern about our business model, the majority of our portfolio will continue to deliver strong volume-based organic growth and is not dependent on price increases...Turning to the second concern about proposed changes to government reimbursed products in the U.S., our exposure to U.S. government reimbursement currently represents approximately 15% of our total revenue. Of this, about one third, or ~5%, represents sales to Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and other government entities, where the business is at best marginally profitable. Despite this, we continue to offer our products through these programs to ensure these patients continue to have access to needed medications. The remaining 10% of our government exposure is related to Medicare. As I stated above, our overall strategy is to focus on private and cash pay markets and to minimize government reimbursement. I believe our exposure to government reimbursement is lower than any other major pharmaceutical company." Shares of Valeant are down 18% over the past five trading days. They closed Friday down $10.18 to $199.32.
07:52 EDTAGNIIR Holdings to hold a conference
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07:46 EDTVRXUBS to hold a field trip
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September 25, 2015
12:38 EDTVRXOptions with increasing implied volatility
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08:00 EDTAGNAllergan launches generic version of INVEGA
Allergan announced that it has launched a generic version of Janssen's INVEGA in the U.S. Allergan is the first company to receive FDA approval for and launch a generic version of INVEGA, demonstrating the deep expertise of the Company's global generics R&D, regulatory and supply chain teams.
05:11 EDTVRXStocks with implied volatility movement; VRX CAT
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September 24, 2015
14:17 EDTAGNAppeals court affirms Shire Vyvanse patents valid until 2023
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11:08 EDTVRXOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: PTCT CZR KITE HZNP NAV CREE VRX PNK
September 23, 2015
09:05 EDTAGNAmgen and Allergan's lung cancer biosimilar candidate meets Phase 3 endpoints
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September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTVRXClinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
17:35 EDTVRXHillary Clinton vows to cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $250 per month
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a tweet that, "Under my plan, I'll cap out-of-pocket drug costs for families. You won't have to pay more than $250/month for covered medications." Reference Link
08:23 EDTAGNWith Pharma in 'hot seat,' Citi still likes Allergan, Teva
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08:23 EDTVRXAnalysts say buy select biotech stocks ahead of Clinton drug plan
Ahead of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laying out her plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market at an event in Iowa later today, analysts at research firms Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are recommending select biotech stocks that they view as buys amid the weakness in the space. DEBATE: Biotech stocks broadly declined yesterday, with the NASDAQ Biotechnology index (IBB) sliding roughly 4.4%, after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on a 62-year-old drug that fights complication of AIDS and cancer. Furor around the sudden price hike for Turing's Daraprim reignited a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. The news also follows Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Pfizer's (PFE) Hospira, in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage yesterday by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and promising to lay out a plan today to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. Clinton's proposal, which she'll outline in a speech in Iowa later today, would force pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research, allow for more generic and imported drugs and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan shared with USA Today. Zeke Emanuel, chair of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, appeared on Nightly Business Report to discuss the problem of high drug prices and his suggested solutions. During his interview, Emanuel contended that giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices may drive up prices for everyone else. DEFENSES: The Jefferies Biotechnology research team, led by Brian Abrahams, Eun Yang and Biren Amin, say their Washington D.C. consultants indicate the recent political rhetoric around drug pricing is unlikely to result in any substantive future policy changes that would impact biotech sector fundamentals. As such, they recommend using yesterday's selloff to buy select companies including Celgene (CELG), BioMarin (BMRN) and Alkermes (ALKS). Pricing concerns are nothing new, and will likely continue to be a headwind for the sector, the analysts tell investors in a research note. Hillary Clinton's proposal to combat drug pricing is likely to include "some combination of old and tried policies that have been out there for a few years," they write. The analysts also like shares of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) and Cempra (CEMP). Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff recommends buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) following yesterday's selloff. Tenthoff believes that drugs like Vertex's Orkambi will maintain premium pricing because of the disease modifying value to patients and payors. Orkambi is approved to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older. The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on Vertex with a $163 price target. DOWNGRADE: Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang downgraded Horizon Pharma (HZNP) to Hold saying "unsettling recent developments" make the stock's premium valuation no longer justified. The public discussion on high drug prices is a negative for the company while its attempt to acquire Depomed (DEPO) is unlikely to result in a completed deal, Yang tells investors in a research note. Further, Horizon's prescription trends are showing weakness, said Yang, who views the stock as more risky than in the past. PRICE ACTION: Horizon closed yesterday down $2.93, or 9.2%, at $28.99, while Vertex dropped $5.97, or 4.8%, to $118.19. A number of the biggest stocks in biotechnology were also weak yesterday, with Gilead sliding about 2.5%, Amgen (AMGN) dropping 2.3%, Celgene declining 2.8% and Biogen (BIIB) falling more than 5.5%.
06:19 EDTVRXClinton to roll out plan to rein in prescription drug costs, USA Today reports
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05:18 EDTVRXBausch + Lomb and Nicox announce FDA acceptance of NDA for VESNEO
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September 21, 2015
14:04 EDTVRXClinton vow to end drug price gouging sinks biotechs
Biotech stocks have declined across the board in afternoon trading following a tweet by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. TURING STEPS UP PRICING: Clinton's tweet directly referenced Turing Pharmaceuticals' Daraprim treatment for toxoplasmosis, which recently had its price hiked from just $13.50 per pill to $750 after the privately-held company acquired the drug from Impax Laboratories (IPXL). Importantly, Daraprim was first approved by the FDA in 1953 and its patents have long since expired. No generic versions of the drug currently exist, perhaps in part due to Turing executive chairman Martin Shkreli's strategy of tightly controlling distribution, according to a New York Post article on the issue. In a Bloomberg TV interview this morning, Shkreli claimed that the drug remains underpriced compared to what he called its peers in the rare disease space. However, note that a World Health Organization analysis from 2013 reported that over 190,000 cases of toxoplasmosis occur globally every year and Daraprim continues to be listed on the organization's list of essential medicines for a basic health-care system. INDUSTRY CRITICISM: Turing's Daraprim pricing prompted a response from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, which criticized the "unjustifiable" new cost of the drug and urged a "rational" pricing strategy. The news surrounding Daraprim also comes on the heels of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Hospira (HSP), in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. REPUBLICAN CONGRESS: In a research note released this afternoon, RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee reminded investors that Republicans still control Congress, offering a sobering reminder that campaign trail promises often fall by the wayside once the candidate steps into office. Yee explained that, though drug pricing debates during next year's election will probably generate headline risk for the biotech space, the Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely to sign into law any material changes on the issue. BIOTECH STOCK ACTION: Hillary Clinton's promise to "lay out a plan" tomorrow to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market sent numerous biotech stocks plunging. Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) has crashed 12.6% at time of writing, while Retrophin (RTRX), Ultragenyx (RARE), and PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) are down 14.7%, 13.4%, and 11%, respectively. Biotech giants AbbVie (ABBV), Gilead (GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Biogen (BIIB) have also slipped in intraday trading, while the NASDAQ Biotechnology index is down roughly 4%.
09:19 EDTAGNAllergan price target lowered to $357 from $388 at Leerink
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08:04 EDTAGNAllergan confirms generic Rytary patent challenge
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