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February 5, 2014
12:38 EDTUSNA, GOOG, DDD, MYGN, MRK, BIRT, CVS, SSYSOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday after ADP reported that dismal weather in January put a damper on private sector hiring. The market seemed indecisive in the opening 30 minutes of trading, but soon picked up downside momentum. The Nasdaq, which was down more than 1% early in the session, has trimmed its losses and the Dow has moved into positive ground, though just barely. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., payroll company ADP reported that 175,000 service jobs were created in January, versus the expectations for 185,000 net new positions to have been added. The ISM services index rose to 54.0 in January from December's 53.0 reading, which was a bit ahead of expectations. COMPANY NEWS: Dow component Merck (MRK) advanced fractionally after the drug company’s quarterly results were generally in-line with expectations and it also announced three clinical collaboration agreements to evaluate its investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy… Shares of Google (GOOG) are advancing in a down market after the search giant reached a settlement with European Union regulators over antitrust allegations and research firm Bernstein hiked its price target on the stock to $1,500 from $1,350... CVS Caremark (CVS) announced plans to cease selling all tobacco products, including cigarettes, at all its locations starting October 1. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was multi-level-marketer USANA Health Sciences (USNA), which rose 17% after its results and guidance beat expectations. Also higher were shares of molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics (MYGN), which climbed over 11% after the company reported second quarter results that beat consensus expectations, raised its fiscal 2014 outlook, and announced the acquisition of Crescendo Bioscience. Among the noteworthy losers was 3D Systems (DDD), which plunged 16% after the maker of 3D printers and supplies lowered its profit outlook for the current fiscal year and guided to earnings next year below the consensus estimate. A number of 3D Systems’ peers fell as well, with the next biggest company in the sector, Stratasys (SSYS), also declining 3%. Also lower were shares of Actuate (BIRT), which slid about 17% after reporting earnings, announcing the acquisition of German software developer legodo ag and being downgraded at Drexel Hamilton. INDICES: Near midday, the Dow was up 13.12, or 0.08%, to 15,458.36; the Nasdaq was down 13.59, or 0.34%, to 4,017.93; and the S&P 500 was down 2.14, or 0.12%, to 1,753.06.
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November 19, 2015
06:32 EDTGOOGAkamai announces collaboration with Google Cloud Platform
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06:26 EDTGOOGGoogle's Hoelzle: Cloud could generate more revenue than ads by 2020, BI says
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November 18, 2015
16:44 EDTGOOGGoogle ad exec jumps to YouTube, Re/code says
Neal Mohan, previously Google's (GOOG) SVP for display and video advertising, has been appointed SVP of product for YouTube in a move signaling renewed efforts to combat Facebook (FB) video, reports Re/code, citing spokesperson statements. Paul Muret, currently head of analytics at Google, will succeed Mohan, and the company's analytics group will be folded into its display operations. Re/code notes that the analytics rollup may indicate Google sees measurement as "core" to its advertising business. Reference Link
15:40 EDTCVSCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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11:24 EDTGOOGGoogle eyes YouTube enhancement with VR experiences, DigiTimes says
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11:01 EDTCVSTarget says working with CVS team to secure regulatory approval for deal
Target (TGT) says "pleased" with progress to date of CVS (CVS) deal.
09:49 EDTMYGNCMS reversal removes 'huge overhang' for CareDx, says Mizuho
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08:11 EDTMRKIMS Health forecasts global drug spending to increase 30% by 2020 to $1.4T
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07:01 EDTMRKThreshold enters into definitive co-promotion agreement with Merck
Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) announced that it finalized a definitive Co-Promotion Agreement for evofosfamide with Merck (MRK) pursuant to the companies' License and Co-Development Agreement entered into on February 2, 2012. Under the terms of the License and Co-Development Agreement, Threshold may co-promote evofosfamide in the U.S. subject to FDA approval of evofosfamide. Evofosfamide is Threshold's investigational hypoxia-activated prodrug, which is currently the subject of two fully enrolled Phase 3 clinical trials in advanced soft tissue sarcoma and advanced pancreatic cancer for which Threshold expects to announce top-line data around the end of 2015. Under the commercial leadership of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the terms of the License and Co-Development Agreement give Threshold the right, at its own cost, to field and be responsible for its own sales force in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's sales force in the U.S. pursuant to the terms of the new Co-promotion Agreement. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany remains responsible for all other commercial and medical affairs functions associated with the launch and promotion of evofosfamide. The development milestone payment and royalty payment portions of the License and Co-Commercialization Agreement remain the same. To date Threshold has received upfront and milestone payments of $110 million and can earn additional potential milestone payments of up to $440M.
November 17, 2015
19:11 EDTGOOGGoogle launches redesigned Google+
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11:25 EDTGOOGGoogle to fight Russia's antitrust ruling on Android platform, Reuters reports
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10:17 EDTCVSHouse Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing
The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law holds a hearing entitled, "The State of Competition in the Pharmacy Benefit Manager and Pharmacy Marketplaces" with Vice President Bricker of Express Scripts and Senior Vice President Pons of CVS Health on November 17 at 3 pm. Webcast Link
08:04 EDTMRKMerck to present new KEYTRUDA findings at upcoming congresses
Merck announced that data investigating the use of KEYTRUDA, the company's anti-PD-1 therapy, in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, classical Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer will be presented at four medical congresses through the end of this year. In total, data from more than 30 abstracts will be presented at the Society for Melanoma Research 2015 Congress in San Francisco, Nov. 18 - 21; the 57th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 5 - 8; the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec. 8 - 12; and the European Society for Medical Oncology Asia 2015 Congress in Singapore, Dec. 18 - 21. By the end of 2015, data on the anti-tumor activity of KEYTRUDA will have been presented across more than 20 tumor types. "The field of immuno-oncology holds great potential across a broad spectrum of cancers," said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories. "Data for KEYTRUDA being presented at these scientific meetings include a first-time comparison to chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, novel combination data in advanced melanoma as well as first-time data in two additional tumor types, namely multiple myeloma and hormone receptor positive breast cancer, further demonstrating our deep commitment to advancing cancer treatment."
06:35 EDTGOOGGoogle's Project Aura working on three new wearables, the Information says
Google's revamped Google Glass project, known as Project Aura, is developing a wearable with a screen and at least one without, the Information reports. Three versions of the head-mounted device are currently in development, though three may be consolidated into two, the report says. The two without a screen rely on bone conduction, much like the original Google Glass, the report says. Reference Link
November 16, 2015
09:33 EDTGOOGeBay second week of November SSS up 0.4%, ChannelAdvisor says
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09:06 EDTCVSDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:35 EDTMRKMerck to present Phase 2 hep C therapy data at The Liver Meeting
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07:24 EDTMRKSalomon to hold a conference
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06:27 EDTGOOGYandex extends Google antitrust battle to EU, Bloomberg reports
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06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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