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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 25, 2014
12:19 EDTGILD, LTM, RGDO, THI, QIHU, GSK, RHHBY, BKW, CELG, ANN, SNY, ITMNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street continued their recent run higher, pushing the S&P 500 above 2,000 for the first time ever. The benchmark index hit the record level despite a report that showed new home sales unexpectedly declined in July. At the lunch hour, the averages were just off their best levels and the S&P had dipped back just below the 2K milestone. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed's National Activity index jumped to 0.39 in July from an upwardly revised 0.21 in June. Markit's preliminary August services PMI came in at 58.5, which was down from a prior reading of 60.8 but above the 58.0 consensus projection. New home sales dropped 2.4% to a 412K rate in July, missing expectations for them to have risen to a 430K annualized rate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of InterMune (ITMN) surged 35.5% to trade just below $73 per share near noon after the company agreed to be acquired by Roche (RHHBY) for $74.00 per share in an all-cash transaction. The deal announcement comes less than two weeks after Bloomberg reported that Roche, along with big pharmaceutical peers Sanofi (SNY) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), had made takeover bids for the smaller drugmaker. A number of other biotech companies gained following the deal announcement, including Gilead (GILD), which rose about 3%, and Celgene (CELG), which advanced 2%... Burger King (BKW) shares rose 19% after the company confirmed it is in talks regarding a potential strategic transaction with Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons (THI). The new publicly-listed company, which would be headquartered in Canada, would be the world's third-largest quick service restaurant company with about $22B in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants. Shares of Tim Horton's trading in New York also gained 20% following the confirmation of news reported by The Wall Street Journal over the weekend. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Life Time Fitness (LTM), which rose 10% after confirming the company has initiated a process to explore a potential conversion of its real estate assets into a Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT. Also higher was Ann Inc. (ANN), which gained 4.5% after Engine Capital and Red Alder, who collectively own over 1% of the company's outstanding shares, urged the company to explore value creating opportunities, including a potential sale. Among the noteworthy losers was Regado Biosciences (RGDO), which plunged 60% and was downgraded at Deutsche Bank and Jefferies after the company announced the permanent termination of enrollment in its REGULATE-PCI phase 3 trial for its lead program. Also lower after its earnings report was Chinese Internet services provider Qihoo 360 (QIHU), which dropped 8%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 96.27, or 0.57%, to 17,097.49, the Nasdaq was up 21.29, or 0.47%, to 4,559.85, and the S&P 500 was up 11.14, or 0.56%, to 1,999.54.
News For BKW;THI;ITMN;RHHBY;RGDO;SNY;GSK;LTM;ANN;QIHU;GILD;CELG From The Last 14 Days
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August 28, 2015
11:04 EDTQIHUOptions with increasing implied volatility
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08:57 EDTQIHUChairman weighing cut to $9B 'go-private' offer for Qihoo 360, WSJ says
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08:01 EDTSNYAmgen pricing for Repatha competitive with Praluent, says Piper Jaffray
After the FDA announced last night that it has approved Amgen's (AMGN) Repatha injection, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer said that the drug's indications seem "generally in line" with those for Praluent from Regeneron (REGN) and Sanofi (SNY). Amgen disclosed an annual WAC of $14,100 for Repatha, which the analyst notes is about $500 per year below Praluent, but Schimmer said that the actual recognized price for each will ultimately be determined by discounting. Schimmer also noted that Amgen said it is working with payers and other purchasers on "innovative pricing programs," though he is uncertain if that means the company is working on a kind of "pay per performance" scheme. The analyst, who believes the market will prove large enough for both treatments, keeps a $200 price target and Overweight rating on Amgen shares.
07:12 EDTCELGWilliam Blair names 21 stocks best positioned for volatile markets
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August 27, 2015
19:14 EDTSNYExpress Scripts to cover both Repatha, Praluent for now, Bloomberg says
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16:03 EDTCELGCelgene completes acquisition of Receptos
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10:57 EDTQIHUOptions with increasing implied volatility
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07:51 EDTRHHBYRoche catching up fast to Bristol-Myers in immuno-oncology, says Jefferies
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August 26, 2015
17:06 EDTGSK, GILDGilead 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.
August 25, 2015
19:34 EDTGILDExperts 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
07:31 EDTCELGCelgene announces expiration of tender offer for Receptos shares
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August 24, 2015
18:55 EDTCELGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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18:52 EDTCELGJazz, Celgene, Shire up after USPTO rejects Acorda patent challenge
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13:36 EDTCELG, GILDBiotech 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.
13:15 EDTGSKFDA expands use of Novartis' Promacta to include children ages 1 and older
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) announced that the FDA has approved an expanded use for Promacta, a Novartis (NVS) product, to include children 1 year of age and older with chronic immune thrombocytopenia who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins or splenectomy. Promacta was acquired by Novartis in March from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Promacta was discovered as a result of research collaboration between GSK and Ligand Pharmaceuticals and was developed by GSK. The updated label also includes a new oral suspension formulation of Promacta that is designed for younger children who may not be able to swallow tablets. Promacta was approved by the FDA as a tablet formulation in June 2015 for children 6 years of age and older and in 2008 for use in adult patients with the same condition. The label expansion of Promacta was based on data from two double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, including the largest Phase 3 clinical trial in this patient population. Treatment with Promacta significantly increased and sustained platelet counts among pediatric patients with chronic ITP with an insufficient response to prior chronic ITP therapies, and some patients taking concomitant ITP medications were able to reduce or discontinue their use of these medications, primarily corticosteroids. Promacta should be used only in those whose degree of thrombocytopenia and clinical condition increase the risk for bleeding.
12:01 EDTRHHBYRoche buys nucleic acid purification technology from Lumora
Roche has signed a definitive asset purchase agreement with Lumora for products associated with the patent-protected Heat Elution technology for nucleic acid purification of multiple sample types including challenging formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples. Roche plans to explore integrating this technology into its sequencing workflow solution.
August 23, 2015
12:35 EDTCELG, RHHBYBiotech firms could see 'billions' in sales from new cancer drugs, Barron's says
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August 21, 2015
10:46 EDTANNAscena Retail completes acquisition of Ann Inc.
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09:38 EDTRHHBYUBS global healthcare analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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05:25 EDTGSKNovartis acquires all remaining rights to Ofatumumab from GSK
Novartis (NVS) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire all remaining rights to Ofatumumab from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Ofatumumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody which targets CD20, is being developed for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, or RRMS, and other autoimmune indications. Novartis previously acquired the rights to Ofatumumab for oncology indications and it is marketed under the brand name Arzerra. Novartis will be responsible for the worldwide development, regulatory and commercialization activities for Ofatumumab. Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will make an initial upfront payment of $300M to GSK for the acquisition of the compound and a further payment of $200M payable following the start of a phase III study in MS by Novartis. Upon completion of pre-determined milestones, contingent payments of up to $534M may be made. Novartis will also pay royalties of up to 12% to GSK on any future net sales of Ofatumumab in autoimmune conditions.
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