Wednesday’s Biggest Biopharma Movers

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The broad markets inched forward on Wednesday after hitting new highs in what has been known as the Trump rally. Although the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEMKT: XBI) was up about 1% on the day, a few companies saw huge gains on Wednesday. These might not be the largest stocks in terms of market cap, but they made the largest moves on the day.

Although the health care sector has been attacked by the U.S. government in the past, it has one of the brightest outlooks in 2017. Considering that the president aims to expedite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decisions and clear an easier path to drug approval, it seems that biopharma stocks could press even higher.

What has been driving these companies on Wednesday is positive clinical trial results and earnings. 24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list some of the biggest of those stocks moving. We have included a little color on each, as well as a recent trading history and consensus price target.

When Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) reported its fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday, the company said that it had $0.16 in earnings per share (EPS) and $85.4 million in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for a net loss of $0.09 per share.

Amit Munshi, Arena’s president and CEO, commented:

We are very pleased with our progress in 2016 as we have positioned the Company to deliver results on multiple Phase 2 programs in 2017.  In the last nine months since the arrival of the new management team, we prioritized our Phase 2 programs; strengthened our board and team to support our strategy; implemented cost reduction measures; renegotiated our agreement with Eisai; and took a methodical approach to maximizing the value of our assets.

Munshi also commented on the outlook of the firm going into 2017:

This year we expect to report results from all three of our proprietary Phase 2 programs, beginning with ralinepag in mid-year for pulmonary arterial hypertension. For etrasimod, we remain focused on maximizing the broad clinical utility of this compound in a time and cost effective manner. We are pleased to have initiated Phase 2 trials in both dermatologic extraintestinal manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease patients and pyoderma gangrenosum. We also plan to initiate a study in primary biliary cholangitis this year. Additionally, we have made important adjustments to the Phase 2 ulcerative colitis trial to ensure a robust data readout by year-end 2017.

Shares of Arena were trading up nearly 15% at $1.63 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $5.00 and a 52-week trading range of $1.34 to $2.16.

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRX) saw its shares jump after the firm reported positive top-line results from the investigator-sponsored trial evaluating Firdapse (amifampridine phosphate) as a treatment for myasthenia gravis patients with anti-MuSK antibodies.

Both of the co-primary efficacy endpoints of change from baseline (CFB) in total quantitative myasthenia gravis score and CFB in total myasthenia gravis activities of daily living score were statistically and clinically significant in this seven patient trial. Several secondary efficacy measures also achieved statistical significance. Amifampridine phosphate was well tolerated in this population of patients.

Shares of Catalyst Pharma were trading up 41% at $1.65. The consensus price target is $4.38, and the 52-week range is $0.51 to $1.77.

Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KOOL) reported results from a recent study evaluating the use of autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) for the treatment of chronic nonhealing ulcers. Results from the study were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Science.

In the study, 24 patients with one wound/ulcer of varying etiology were treated with a single dose of PRP injections around the wound alongside a topical administration of autologous platelet gel. Healing of the wound/ulcer was observed in patients as early as four weeks after the PRP treatment with a mean healing time of 8.2 weeks.

All patients demonstrated healing of the wound/ulcer, with 17 (70.8%) patients showing a 90% reduction in wound size and three (12.5%) patients showing an 80% to 90% reduction over the course of the 24-week follow-up. The study also reported that there were no adverse events on the day of treatment or during the patient’s 24 week follow-up.

Shares of Cesca were last seen up nearly 9% at $3.12, with a consensus price target of $2.00 and a 52-week range of $1.85 to $7.39.