Today’s BioHealth Business Daily has many new names and less followed companies, but there are some of the larger movers to consider today as well. We are seeing news-related moves in many stocks from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN), CombinatoRx, Incorporated (NASDAQ: CRXX), Electro-Optical Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELA), Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ), Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: SLXP), SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCLN), Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOMX), and Warner Chilcott plc (NASDAQ: WCRX). We also wanted to point out the significant short interest and changes in Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) and Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC).
Included today is the news, the related share move, performance and valuation data, and added in additional market color where applicable.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) is now up even more because of a Mike Huckman tout on CNBC. The gain is due to the board member resignation of Joseph Klein III, a member of the board since June 2005, with disagreements over matters such as a poison pill and other issues. This has some thinking of a takeover. Shares were up 5% before the tout, but shares are now up 7.5% at $24.73 on 2.4 million shares. Average volume is 1.34 million shares and the new 52-week high was hit today of $24.99.
CombinatoRx, Incorporated (NASDAQ: CRXX) is up today after it managed to turn in a profit of $25.2 million during the Q4-2009 period and after it is focusing its R&D efforts. Shares are up just over 10% at $1.39 on 6.9 million shares. We saw a high of $1.53 today and the 52-week range is $0.49 to $2.60. Average volume is only 2.2 million shares.
Electro-Optical Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELA) is not a biotech but may play a key role in melanoma down the road. It is down after the company has received additional questions from the FDA over the pre-market approval application of the MelaFind device for early melanoma detection. The long and short is that the FDA said that its application is not currently approvable and the FDA has now extended the review by up to 180 days. Shares are down 22% at $7.07, but we had seen a low of $6.43 earlier this morning. There have now been more than 3 million shares traded and average volume is only about 260,000 shares.
Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) is feeling the wrath of the markets again after yesterday’s FDA action on the Allston plant. This morning, its shares were Downgraded to Underweight at JPMorgan. The beatings will continue until morale improves! Shares are down 7.4% at $51.21 and we have seen 9.9 million shares trade hands versus an average of 2.8 million shares.
Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: SLXP) was awarded FDA approval for Xifaxan 550mg tablets for the risk reduction of overt hepatic encephalopathy recurrence in patients aged 18 and higher. This is expected to add to sales of the drug. Shares are off highs of $38.00 earlier with a gain of 8.85% at $36.49 on 4.55 million shares in late morning. Average volume is about 1.4 million, but this marks a new 52-week high with anything above $34.38.
SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCLN) is up after last night’s announcement that ondansetron RapidFilm(TM) received approval in 16 European countries. This is a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist commonly used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. The company expects these EU approvals to support efforts to gain regulatory approval in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau. Shares are up 11.4% at $4.11 on 1.6 million shares. Average volume is only 450,000 shares and the 52-week trading range is $1.21 to $5.33; its market cap is only $194 million and the company is now profitable.
Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOMX) is up again on no news, but this is ahead of its planned 4 million share secondary offering which should price today after the close. Our bet is that the 4 million shares is more like 4.5 million or maybe even 5 million shares. This is rare to hear, but this is actually a good version of dilution as it adds much-needed growth capital. Shares are up 6.4% at $9.83 on 8 million shares.
Warner Chilcott plc (NASDAQ: WCRX) may be on its way for a dividend payment and may still be on the way to becoming the next great emerging drug company. But its news from yesterday about it closing the former P&G office in Ohio as part of the 2009 acquisition has at least some of the bulls questioning its growth. This will send 163 American workers to the weekly jobless claims line. The Irish pharma stock is down 4.4% at $25.54 on over 2 million shares. Average volume is 1.4 million shares and the 52-week trading range is $9.64 to $29.24.
The new short interest data for short sellers is out showing the March 15 settlement date versus the February 26 date. Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) was the largest outright change and Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) shows part of what caused the recovery… short covering. The full short interest data is here from BioHealthInvestor.com.
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JON C. OGG