Healthcare Economy

BioHealth Business Daily (AEZS, ANDS, ACHN, AKRX, DVAX, GENZ, IDIX, MIPI, RPRX, SNTS, WCRX)

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.

JON C. OGG

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