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News Breaks
March 18, 2014
07:28 EDTABT, JNJ, LH, DHR, DGX, RHHBYCLFS review potential negative for Quest, LabCorp, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray views the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' plan to revalue Clinical Lab Fee Schedule test codes as a potential negative for Quest Diagnostics (DGX) and LabCorp (LH) as well as diagnostic manufacturers like Abbott (ABT), Danaher (DHR), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Roche (RHHBY). Piper says Quest and LabCorp both have around 12% of revenue exposure to CLFS, which it feels presents risk for additional reimbursement pressure in FY15. The review follows an Office of Inspector General report that found CMS paid between 18%-30% higher for 20 high volume/high expenditure tests than state and federal plans.
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August 28, 2014
17:42 EDTJNJJ&J begins sales process for its medical device unit Cordis, WSJ says
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09:16 EDTRHHBYPacific Biosciences milestone payment shows Roche commitment, says Maxim
Maxim believes Roche's (RHHBY) milestone payment to Pacific Biosciences (PACB) indicates that the larger partner is committed to continuing the in vitro diagnostics program despite its recent acquisition and strategic investment with others. Maxim raised its 2014 revenue estimate for Pacific Biosciences to reflect the payment and recommends investors buy shares.
09:01 EDTRHHBYPacific Biosciences discloses achievement of development milestone
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08:21 EDTRHHBYRoche InterMune purchase could be big win if liver drug succeeds, Reuters says
Analysts have forecast annual sales of about $2B for InterMune's (ITMN) lung fibrosis treatment, pirfenidone, after it is approved, but success for the company's developmental drugs to treat similar damage to the liver and kidneys could be a "game-changer" for the company and its buyer, Roche (RHHBY), said Reuters. Reference Link
August 27, 2014
09:07 EDTRHHBYRoche unit granted FDA orphan status for hairy cell leukemia treatment
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August 25, 2014
16:13 EDTRHHBYOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks began the session in positive territory and proceeded to tack on gains throughout the morning. Despite a disappointing report on new home sales in July, the S&P surpassed the 2,000 level for the first time before noon. The market pared its gains shortly after the milestone was reached and drifted for the remainder of the session on light volume, as trading activity may be restrained all week ahead of the Labor Day weekend. 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 $19.05, or 35.41%, to $72.85 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 pharma 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 bigger names like Gilead (GILD) and Celgene (CELG) and smaller ones such as Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) and Receptos (RCPT)... Burger King (BKW) shares rose $5.29, or 19.51%, to $32.40 after the company confirmed it is in talks regarding a potential strategic transaction with Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons (THI). Shares of Tim Horton's trading in New York also gained $11.88, or 18.91%, to $74.72 following the confirmation of news first reported by The Wall Street Journal. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the other notable gainers was Advaxis (ADXS), which advanced 75c, or 23.08%, to $4.00 after announcing it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with Merck (MRK). Also rising were shares of Comtech (CMTL), which jumped $1.70, or 4.84%, to $36.81 after Reuters said the company is working with Citigroup to explore a potential sale. Among the noteworthy losers was Chinese internet and software company Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU), which fell $7.88, or 7.74%, to $93.87 despite reporting second quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' estimates. Also lower were shares of GrubHub (GRUB), which fell $3.60, or 8.42%, to $39.16 after filing to sell 10M shares of common stock. INDEXES: The Dow gained 75.65, or 0.44%, to 17,076.87, the Nasdaq rose 18.80, or 0.41%, to 4,557.35, and the S&P 500 advanced 9.54, or 0.48%, to 1,997.94.
12:19 EDTRHHBYOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:40 EDTRHHBYBiotechs rise after InterMune acquired by Roche
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10:02 EDTRHHBYRoche unit launches PD-LI antibody
Spring Bioscience, a member of the Roche Group, announced the launch of its PD-L1 rabbit monoclonal immunohistochemistry antibody. This new PD-L1 clone was developed for Roche/Genentech's anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy development program. The SP142 antibody is a component of the clinical trial assay designed by Ventana Medical Systems and used in early and late stage clinical trials for various tumor types including non-small cell lung cancer and urothelial bladder cancer. Internal comparison studies performed at Spring demonstrated that the PD-L1 antibody outperformed other commercially available PD-L1 antibodies.
09:11 EDTRHHBYOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:27 EDTJNJJanssen Affiliate Cilag acquires Covagen, terms not disclosed
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08:24 EDTRHHBYRoche to hold a conference call
CEO Schwan and CFO Hippe discuss the acquisition of InterMune on a conference call to be held on August 25 at 9 am. Webcast Link
08:23 EDTRHHBYRoche acquisition makes sense, says Bernstein
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07:11 EDTRHHBYInterMune volatility expected to move on Roche acquiring for $8.3B
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07:03 EDTJNJVIVUS acquires patents from Janssen Pharmaceuticals
VIVUS (VVUS) announced the acquisition of a group of patents from Janssen Pharmaceuticals (JNJ) covering uses of topiramate as monotherapy and in combination with other pharmaceutical agents to treat a variety of medical conditions. Janssen has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit it brought against VIVUS on August 22, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. VIVUS will pay a one-time upfront fee and a royalty to Janssen on Qsymia product sales for an assignment of these topiramate-related patents owned by Janssen. VIVUS has an option to buy out the royalty for a predetermined amount.
August 24, 2014
20:27 EDTRHHBYRoche drops pursuit for remainder of Japan's Chugai, Bloomberg says
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13:41 EDTRHHBYRoche to acquire InterMune for $74.00 per share
Roche (RHHBY) and InterMune (ITMN) announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for Roche to fully acquire InterMune at a price of $74.00 per share in an all-cash transaction. This corresponds to a total transaction value of $8.3B on a fully diluted basis. This offer represents a premium of 38% to InterMune's closing price on August 22 and a premium of 63% to InterMune's unaffected closing price on August 12. The merger agreement has been approved by the boards of InterMune and Roche. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will commence a tender offer no later than August 29 to acquire all outstanding shares of InterMune common stock, and InterMune will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the InterMune board that InterMune's shareholders tender their shares to Roche. The transaction is expected to be neutral to core earnings per share in 2015 and accretive from 2016 onwards. The acquisition of InterMune, a Brisbane, California based biotechnology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of innovative therapies in pulmonology and fibrotic diseases, will allow Roche to broaden and strengthen its respiratory portfolio globally. Roche plans a smooth transition of InterMune employees and operations into the Roche organization, ensuring readiness for an expected launch of pirfenidone in the US in 2014. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in 2014.
August 21, 2014
05:42 EDTJNJIllumina announces strategic partnership with AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Janssen
Illumina (ILMN) announced it has formed collaborative partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to develop a universal next-generation sequencing, or NGS,-based oncology test system. The system will be used for clinical trials of targeted cancer therapies with a goal of developing and commercializing a multi-gene panel for therapeutic selection, resulting in a more comprehensive tool for precision medicine. Initial strategic partners include AstraZeneca (AZN), Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company, and Sanofi (SNY). Illumina is working with the strategic partners to develop assays that detect and measure multiple variants simultaneously to support partners’ clinical trials, with the objectives of securing regulatory agency approvals and test commercialization. In parallel, Illumina is working with key thought leaders to set standards for NGS-based assays in routine clinical oncology practice, as well as to define regulatory frameworks to enable this new testing paradigm. Together, Illumina and its strategic partners aim to transition from single-analyte companion diagnostics to panel-based assays that select for “companion therapeutics.”
August 19, 2014
11:32 EDTLHLabCorp prenatal test a negative for Sequenom, says Maxim
Maxim views LabCorp's (LH) announcement today that it will begin offering the informaSeq prenatal test as a long-term negative for Sequenom (SQNM) due to increased competition. The news is also negative for Illumina (ILMN) and PerkinElmer (PKI), who both offer Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests, Maxim adds. The firm recommends buying shares of LabCorp and keeps a Buy rating on the name with a $130 price target.
08:47 EDTLHLabCorp announces availability of InformaSeq non-invasive prenatal test
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings announced the availability of the informaSeq Prenatal Test. The informaSeq Prenatal Test is an advanced, non-invasive, next-generation prenatal screening assay that can assess risk for multiple fetal chromosomal aneuploidies, or abnormalities in the number of chromosomes, from a single maternal blood draw. There are testing options for several additional common sex-related aneuploidies. The test is offered through Integrated Genetics, part of the LabCorp Specialty Testing Group of laboratories that offer advanced esoteric and genomic testing.
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