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May 21, 2014
07:41 EDTVRXValeant initiated with an Outperformer at CIBC
Target $160.
News For VRX From The Last 14 Days
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September 28, 2015
16:19 EDTVRXOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower as investors continue to worry about the health of China's economy and continue to flee the biotech sector. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 6.33% today and is down about 18.5% since September 21, when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged to take action against the high prices of specialty drugs. Adding to the tentative mood among investors was noted investor Carl Icahn's preview for a presentation that will be made available on his site tomorrow, entitled "Danger Ahead." The preview includes several cautious comments that the billionaire has publicly made recently regarding his concerns about the high-yield bond market and the stock market. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income grew 0.3% in August, versus expectations for it to rise 0.4%. Personal spending rose 0.4% last month, versus expectations for growth of 0.3%. The pending home sales index fell 1.4% in August, missing expectations for it to have risen 0.4%. The Dallas Fed manufacturing outlook survey for September had a reading of -9.5, versus expectations for a reading of -10.0. In China, industrial profits plunged 8.8% in August, adding to the recent string of weak data from the Asian giant. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) reported that it set a record by selling more than 13M new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in the first three days after launch of the devices. However, shares of the tech giant slid about 2% to $112.44 following the announcement... Alcoa (AA) shares advanced 52c, or 5.73%, to $9.59 after the company announced that its board has approved a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies - an Upstream company that will operate under the Alcoa name and a new "Value-Add company" that will provide high-performance, multi-material products whose name will be announced at a later date... Biotech stocks continued recent declines, with Valeant (VRX) dropping 16.6% after a group of Democratic congressmen urged additional scrutiny of the company's "price hike" business model, while Epizyme (EPZM) and NewLink (NLNK) fell a respective 27% and 21% after presenting data at the 2015 European Cancer Congress... Shares of both Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) and Williams (WMB) fell after they announced a combination deal valued at approximately $37.7B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under the terms of their deal, an affiliate of ETE will acquire Williams at an implied current price of $43.50 per Williams share, the companies said. In late June, Energy Transfer Equity made a proposal to merge with Williams in an all-equity transaction valued at that time at $53.1B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under that prior merger proposal, ETE would have acquired all of the outstanding common stock of Williams at an implied price of $64 per Williams share, which represented a 32.4% premium to Williams' common share closing price as of June 19. Energy Transfer Equity shares closed down $2.95, or 12.69%, to $20.29 after announcing today's revised deal, while Williams dropped $5.03, or 12.09%, to close at $36.57. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Republic Airways (RJET), which surged $2.38, or 81.8%, to $5.29 after announcing that the company and Teamsters Local 357 have reached a consensual tentative agreement on the terms of a new three-year contract for the 2,100 Republic pilots represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Also higher was Media General (MEG), which gained $2.49, or 22.3%, to $13.64 after Nexstar (NXST) proposed a cash-and-stock deal to acquire the company for $14.50 per share, which Media General said it would "carefully review." Additionally, Sanchez Energy (SN) rose 4.5% to $5.57 after agreeing to sell certain Eagle Ford Shale midstream assets to Sanchez Production Partners (SPP) for $345M. Among the noteworthy losers was Huntsman (HUN), which plunged $3.99, or 28.7%, to $9.92 after warning that headwinds would impact its third quarter earnings. Also lower were shares of Depomed (DEPO) and Horizon Pharma (HZNP), falling a respective 22% and 21%, after Depomed continued its criticism of Horizon's hostile takeover bid for the company. INDEXES: The Dow fell 312.78, or 1.92%, to 16,001.89, the Nasdaq lost 142.53, or 3.04%, to 4,543.97, and the S&P 500 dropped 49.57, or 2.57%, to 1,881.77.
14:38 EDTVRXValeant crashes after Democrats push for subpoena
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) continued their week-long descent on Monday after a group of Democratic congressmen urged additional scrutiny of the company's business model. GOVERNMENT SCRUTINY: Eighteen Democratic congressional representatives requested that the House Oversight Committee subpoena Valeant for information related to allegedly "massive" price increases for two cardiac drugs recently acquired by the company. Referencing recent controversy surrounding Turing Pharmaceuticals, this morning's letter to the committee said "Valeant is using precisely the same business model as Martin Shkreli... whose company recently purchased the life-saving drug Daraprim and increased the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill... Similarly, in February, Valeant purchase the rights to sell Nitropress... and Isuprel... The same day, Valeant increased the prices of these drugs to $805.61 and $1,346.62, respectively, [representing] increases of 212% and 525%." In addition to the subpoena, the congressmen also requested that the committee invite Valeant CEO Mike Pearson to testify along with Martin Shkreli, "since both appear to be engaging in the same business model." Note that today's news follows an August 15 letter to Valeant from Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings, who requested similar information related to what they called "artificially inflated" drug prices. Valeant rejected that request, citing confidentiality concerns. CEO RESPONSE: On Monday, Valeant distributed a letter to employees from its Chief Executive Mike Pearson. Responding to what he called "two main issues worrying investors," Pearson claimed "Valeant is well-positioned for strong organic growth, even assuming little to no [drug] price increases... We have consistently pursued profitable growth through diversification, strong execution and financial discipline while minimizing exposure to governmental policy changes and volatility." PRICE ACTION: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals are down more than 15% to trade near $167 this afternoon. The stock has fallen roughly $78 from the $245 per share price it reached intraday on September 21, which is the day when Turing Pharmaceuticals' Daraprim price hike made headlines and prompted Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to criticize the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and lay out a plan to combat the problem. Biotech stocks are broadly lower since that time as well, as the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 6% today and down about 19% since September 21.
13:50 EDTVRXCitron Research sets $130 short-term price target on Valeant
After House Democrats asked to subpoena Valeant for documents relating to drug price increases, Citron Research tweeted that it puts a $130 short-term price target on the stock. Reference Link
13:49 EDTVRXValeant puts active after House Democrats seek subpoena
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13:29 EDTVRXValeant sinks after House Democracts seek subpoena, Bloomberg reports
Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares are plunging after House Democrats asked to subpoena the company for documents relating to drug price increases, Bloomberg reports. In midday trading, shares of Valeant are down 13% to $173.75. Reference Link
12:49 EDTVRXValeant down 10% after Democrats request subpoena
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12:45 EDTVRXHouse Democrats urge Valeant to turn over documents, Bloomberg says
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.
07:46 EDTVRXUBS to hold a field trip
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September 25, 2015
12:38 EDTVRXOptions with increasing implied volatility
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05:11 EDTVRXStocks with implied volatility movement; VRX CAT
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September 24, 2015
11:08 EDTVRXOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: PTCT CZR KITE HZNP NAV CREE VRX PNK
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 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%.
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