Healthcare Economy


Today’s episode of the BioHealth Business Daily has many stocks moving on hepatitis news and starting with the letter “A” coincidentally.  Shares of AEterna Zentaris (NASDAQ: AEZS), Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDS), Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN), Akorn Inc. (NASDAQ: AKRX), Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IDIX), Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MIPI), Repros Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RPRX), Santarus Inc. (NASDAQ: SNTS), and Warner Chilcott PLC (NASDAQ: WCRX) are all on the move.

We have provided news updates, added color where applicable, shown the price moves with volume and comparative data on each.

AEterna Zentaris (NASDAQ: AEZS) may be hard to pronounce, but shares are up after it said the European Medicines Agency assured the acceptability of its Phase III programs for its lead anti-cancer drug, perifosine.  This is for the treatment of multiple myeloma and refractory advanced colorectal cancer.  Shares are up 15% at $1.59 on well over 9 million shares; average volume is only about 750K and the 52-week range is $0.75 to $3.25.

Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDS) is up after showing 72% of patients receiving ANA598 in a phase II combination study with interferon and Ribavirin achieved undetectable levels of virus at week eight.  Shares are up 8.6% at $2.84, but shares had been up as high as $3.24 today.  Mid-day volume is 11 million shares versus only about 500K on average, and the 52-week range is $1.44 to $6.45.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) is down 8.5% at $2.98, but shares had been as high as $3.20 and the 52-week range is $1.10 to $3.89.  The news is that the company is presenting data from studies of ACH-1625 in Hepatitis C at the EASL International Liver Congress that shows a significant reduction in HCV RNA.

Akorn Inc. (NASDAQ: AKRX) is up after it received FDA clearance to market a generic version of the painkiller Dilaudid-HP, and it plans to start shipping the product next month.   Shares are up over 15% at $1.64 on about 1.7 million shares.  The 52-week range is $0.73 to $2.00 and the average volume is only about 206,000 shares.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) is up oh hepatitis news as well, after it showed that its chronic kidney disease study confirms that HEPLISAV offers  enhanced seroprotection against HBV infection.  Shares had been up over 16% earlier on the news.  In early-afternoon trading the stock is up over 8% at $1.57 on 3.9 million shares (over 10-times normal volume).

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ) is fighting Carl Icahn via another activist…. Genzyme and Relational Investors LLC have amended their mutual cooperation agreement and Ralph Whitworth, principal and co-founder of Relational, has been elected to Genzyme’s board of directors, effective immediately, and he will chair a new Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee.  Genzyme is up a mere 0.25% at $52.79.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IDIX) is also up on hepatitis news after it reported positive results on its IDX184 in interim analysis of a Phase IIa hepatitis C study.  The shares were up over 16% earlier today, but the stock is up 8.6% at $4.43 on 1.5 million shares now.

Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MIPI) has another give-back after a large move up this week.  Today’s drop is after the stock was downgraded to “Market Perform from Outperform” at Wells Fargo.  Shares are down 7% more at $2.67, but only on about 700,000 shares.  Keep in mind that ‘my-pie’ was only at $1.50 on Monday and traded as high as $4.49 on Tuesday.

Repros Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RPRX) is down today on exchange related news.  It said it now has enough stockholders’ equity for NASDAQ compliance, and it has until June 14, 2010 to meet the NASDAQ minimum $1.00 rule.  Shares are down 7.8% at $0.73 on just over 1.5 million shares.

Santarus Inc. (NASDAQ: SNTS) was down in half last night after the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled that five patents covering ZEGERID® prescription products are invalid due to obviousness (indicated for the treatment of certain upper GI diseases and disorders).  Shares are down 32% at $3.64 on over 10 million shares.

Warner Chilcott PLC (NASDAQ: WCRX) may still be on the way to being the next best drug stock out there.  Shares were up on positive UBS comments yesterday and IBD said its chart was #66 but third best in class today.  Shares were up another 3.2% at $27.69 and the highest level since March 8, 2010.


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