Healthcare Economy

BioHealth Business Daily (ARAY, BEC, BPAX, CTIC, CHTP, DVAX, NABI, ONTY, SQNM, SOMX, WHRT)

Today’s BioHealth Business Daily is full of some of the names you might expect to see, but it also has some unusual names as well.  We are seeing share price moves in Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY), Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE: BEC), Biosante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPAX), Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC), Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHTP), Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX), Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: NABI), Oncothyreon Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTY), Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM), Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOMX), and World Heart Corporation (NASDAQ: WHRT).

Today’s movers are different because we have included some device companies.  Normally we would not, except these in some cases are the key movers in medial and health-related stocks and also may compete against traditional drugs.  We have included the news, the share move, relative performance and valuation data, and added in additional market color where applicable.

Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) is a call we have not seen the full report on, but we are told that Soleil Securities had downgraded the stock to “Sell” from “Hold” and that the price target was cut from $6 to $4.  Accuray is technically not a drug nor a biotech company, but the company has the CyberKnife system.  Shares are down 7.9% at $6.62 on 580,000 shares; average volume is over 300,000 shares and the 52-week range is $4.72 to $8.35.

Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE: BEC) makes and sells biomedical testing instrument systems, tests, and supplies for clinical laboratories.  After the close on Monday it disclosed that it sent a notice to customers who use its AccuTnI troponin test kits on the UniCel DxI immunoassay system alerting that these DxI customers to a positive bias in troponin results obtained on the DxI system when compared with troponin results obtained on its Access system using the same test kits. It is recommending the  discontinued use of troponin test kits on DxI if an alternative methodology was available.  Shares are down 7.7% at $63.80 on 3.2 million shares; the average volume is about 500,000 shares and the 52-week range is $47.53 to $71.57.

Biosante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPAX) is up after it announced additional positive Leukemia vaccine results and unveiled its second FDA Orphan Drug Designation.  Full Details are here on that one.  Shares are up 6.9% at $1.86 on 1.8 million shares.  The average volume is only about 600,000 shares and the 52-week range is $1.14 to $2.70.

Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) is seeing a surprise trading bounce after yesterday’s roughly 50% haircut after an FDA Panel unanimously rejected its Pixantrone to fight non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Shares are up a whopping 30% at $0.61 on over 68 million shares.  This is surprising after yesterday’s news, but that is what makes a market.

Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHTP) is trading higher after Needham initiated the stock with a Buy rating in new coverage this morning.  Shares are up 8% at $4,05 on 445,000 shares; the average volume is only about 355,000 shares and the 52-week range is $1.44 to $7.51.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) is trading higher after the company reported positive findings from safety analysis of HEPLISAV.  The results showed that its hepatitis B vaccine was as safe as Glaxo’s vaccine.  Shares are up 12.6% at $1.43 on 750,000 shares.  Average volume is only about 322,000 shares and the 52-week range is $0.60 to $3.35.  Keep in mind that the market cap is only $59.2 million here.

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: NABI) is a bit of a head-scratcher if you follow share buybacks and dividends.  The company announced a $61 million share repurchase program versus a $300+ million market cap.  Shares are down 0.3% at $6.17 on about 250,000 shares.  Again, the buyback here is not the norm. To date, Nabi said that it has repurchased 13.9 million shares of common stock for a total cost of $54.1 million under a program which has been around since 2007.

Oncothyreon Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTY) is getting crushed after it announced the temporary suspension of Stimuvax clinical trials by Merck Serono for Stimuvax… due to suspected unexpected serious adverse reaction in a patient with multiple myeloma. Shares had been halted earlier on the news and the stock gapped way down.  Shares opened at $3.25 and had been almost down by half in pre-market indications.  Shares are down 22% at $3.71 and we have seen over ten-times normal volume based upon the three-month average.

Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) is seeing a huge recovery based upon an analyst upgrade. The troubled Down’s Syndrome test company was raised to Buy from Hold at Lazard in research coverage this morning.  Shares are up a whopping 14% at $6.31 and there has been over 14.5 million shares traded today.

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOMX) is very active, again.  The company announced last night that will sell up to 4,000,000 shares of its common stock a public secondary offering.  Frankly, this is a good capital raise, should be no surprise based upon the company’s small balance sheet and the need to secure a marketing and development partner for Silenore as a sleep-aid after last week’s FDA approval.  Traders first endorsed this as a positive.  Shares are up almost 3% at $8.55 on 4.55 million shares.  Usually shares sell off on secondary announcements, but the traders believe this is a good capital raise and will allow it to negotiate for a partner for Silenor from a position of strength rather than one of need.

World Heart Corporation    (NASDAQ: WHRT) is soaring today.  The company is a device play for hearts rather than a drug or biological implantation.  But the move from the implantable ventricular assist devices  (VADs) and the University of Utah Hospital successfully implanted its first Levacor Ventricular Assist Device is making this one of the market’s top percentage gainers today.  World Heart is up 33% at $2.70 on 870,000 shares.  Average volume is only about 13,000 shares and the 52-week range is $1.70 to $8.63.  The market cap here is only $35.9 million, and that is after the pop.

You can join our free daily email distribution list to hear more about dividend trends, analyst upgrades and downgrades, top day trader and active trader alerts, news on Buffett and other investment gurus, IPOs, secondary offerings, private equity, and more.

JON C. OGG