OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OGXI) Announces Merger – Shares Higher

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Nasdaq: OGXI

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker OGXI, are up over 50% on heavy volumes. OncoGenex develops novel therapeutics that target important mechanisms of treatment resistance in cancer with the potential to redefine treatment outcomes for patients with a variety of cancers.

Price action is likely due to the announcement that OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will be merging with privately-held Achieve Life Science Inc. The proposed merger will create a clinical-stage company focused on clinical and commercial development of cytisine, a selective nicotine receptor partial agonist currently in late-stage development for smoking cessation.  Two recent Phase 3 trials in over 2,000 patients using cytisine as a smoking cessation aid have been completed, with positive results published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to cytisine, the combined company’s pipeline will also include apatorsen, a once-weekly intravenous drug designed to inhibit production of heat shock protein 27 to disable cancer cells’ defenses and overcome treatment resistance.

Several firms have assigned a rating of “Buy” to OGXI. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported a EPS loss of $0.64 but that has steadily improved since 2013 when it delclared an EPS loss of $2.17. Sales have not fared as well. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported 2013 sales of $29.9 million and $18.2 million in 2015. Shares outstanding of OGXI have increased from 14.68 million in 2013 to 26.15 million in 2015.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Genocea Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GNCA) Reports Phase 2b results – shares up

Genocea Biosciences, Inc. – Nasdaq: GNCA

Genocea Biosciences Inc. reported positive results in a Phase 2b clinical trial. Shares (Nasdaq: GNCa) are up over 13% on the news.

Chip Clark, president and chief executive officer of Genocea stated “We are very pleased to have demonstrated such a powerful impact on genital herpes clinical disease in this trial, supporting the groundbreaking potential of GEN-003 to be the first-ever therapeutic vaccine for a chronic infection and the first advance in the treatment of genital herpes in more than 20 years…”

Genocea is harnessing the power of T cell immunity to develop life-changing vaccines and immunotherapies. T cells are increasingly recognized as a critical element of protective immune responses to a wide range of diseases, but traditional discovery methods have proven unable to identify the targets of such protective immunity. Using ATLAS™, its proprietary technology platform, Genocea identifies these targets to potentially enable the rapid development of medicines to address critical patient needs.

Five firms follow Gencocea Biosciences Inc. Four rate GNCA as a “Strong Buy” and one rates GNCA a “Buy”. Their consensus pricet target is $15. Genocea Bioscinces reported sales of $700,000 in 2015. This represented a drop from their 2012 reported sales of $2 million. EPS for GNCA have a similar history. Never achieving positive EPS, GNCA had its worst reporting year in 2014 when they lost $2.27 EPS. In 2015 GNCA improved to a loss of $$1,74 EPS.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/5/17
Ticker Symbol GNCA
Last Price a/o 8:50 AM EST $5.15
Average Volume 132,000
Market Cap $130.4 million
Sales 0.50 million
Shares Outstanding 28.74 million
Share Float 24.8 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.40%
Short Float 14.15%
Short Interest Ratio 16.56
Quarterly Return 1.79%
YTD Return 10.19%
Year Return -10.63%

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HALO) Reports Phase 2 Results – Shares Near 52-Week High

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. – Nasdaq: HALO

Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. traded near their 52-week highs in this morning’s pre-market action. Shares are traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker HALO. HALO’s 52- week high was $17.19 and this morning shares rocketed nearly 60% to a pre-market high of $17.00. Traders are responding to favorable results in HaloZyme Therapeutics’ Phase 2 trial addressing cancer of the Pancreas. Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer related death in the United States, and more than 65,000 people in the U.S. and top five European countries are diagnosed annually with advanced cases of the disease.

San Diego, CA-based Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. reported topline results from the combined analysis of Stages 1 and 2 and Stage 2 alone of its HALO 202 study in stage IV pancreas cancer patients. Among the findings, the overall study population showed a statistically significant increase in progression-free survival in patients with high levels of hyaluronan (HA-High) treated with PEGPH20 plus Abraxane and gemcitabine when compared to HA-High patients receiving Abraxane and gemcitabine alone. Stage 2 of the study, which completed enrollment in February 2016, showed a 91 percent improvement in median PFS for HA-High patients in the PEGPH20 arm, 8.6 months compared to 4.5 months in the control arm, and achieved its primary endpoint.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. reported sales of $135.1 million in 2015 – an improvement from reported 2012 sales of $42.3 million. EPS for HALO has had similar improvement, losing $0.74 in 2013 but only losing $0.25 in 2015.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/5/17
Ticker Symbol HALO
Last Price a/o 7:31 AM EST $17.05
Average Volume 1.6 million
Market Cap $1.39 Billion
Sales $160 million
Shares Outstanding 130,27 million
Share Float 108.71 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.10%
Short Float 20.06%
Short Interest Ratio 13.68
Quarterly Return -9.87%
YTD Return 8.20%
Year Return -34.78%

ImmunoGen Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN) Continues Climb

Immunogen, Inc. – Nasdaq: IMGN

Waltham, MA-based Immunogen Inc. shares are up almost 20% in early trading. Shares of the biotechnology firm trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol IMGN. On December 28, 2016 Immunogen announced positive aspects of their Phase 1 trial. That news sent shares higher. On December 30 shares gapped up and have not looked back.

ImmunoGen is a recognized leader in the field of ADCs (antibody-drug conjugates) are biopharmaceutical drugs designed as a targeted therapy for the treatment of people with cancer. Immunogen’s technology is used in Roche’s Kadcyla®. Numerous leading healthcare companies have licensed limited rights to use Immunogen’s technology to develop ADC therapies, including Amgen, Genentech/Roche, Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi, and Takeda. Immunogen Inc. continues to invest in the emerging field of ADCs, with 765 issued patents and 749 pending patent applications worldwide as of mid-2016.

Shares of IMGN have never experienced positive EPS. In 2015 IMGN reported a loss of lost $1.67 on sales of $60 million – a drop from reported 2014 sales of $85.5 million. Eight firms follow Immunogen Inc. Two give IMGN a rating of “Strong Buy”; five give it a “Buy”; and one gives it a rating of “sell”. The consensus target price for IMGN is $5.00.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/4/17
Ticker Symbol IMGN
Last Price a/o 9:59 AM EST $2.33
Average Volume 1.73 million
Market Cap $140.6 million
Sales 52.8 million
Shares Outstanding 67.6 million
Share Float
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.40%
Short Float
Short Interest Ratio 7.18
Quarterly Return -20.90%
YTD Return 1.96%
Year Return -83.76%

Ocular Therapeutix, Inc (Nasdaq: OCUL) Shares up in Pre-Market on Phase 3 Results

OcularTherapeutix, Inc. – Nasdaq: OCUL

Bedford, MA-based Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. shares are up over 8% in pre-market trading. Traded on the Nasdaq under ticker OCUL, the shares are benefitting from positive news that additional positive secondary endpoint results were reached from its most recent successful phase 3 clinical trial of Dextenza™ (dexamethasone insert) 0.4 mg, for the treatment of post-surgical ocular inflammation and pain.

Dextenza is a product candidate administered by a physician as a bioresorbable intracanalicular insert and designed to release drug to the ocular surface for up to 30 days. Dextenza successfully met the trial’s two primary efficacy endpoints, absence of ocular pain on day 8 and absence of ocular inflammation on day 14 when compared to placebo. In this Phase 3 clinical trial, for which the complete safety assessment will be available in the first quarter of 2017, no treatment-related serious adverse events were observed. Dextenza has exhibited a favorable safety profile and has been well tolerated in all clinical trials, regardless of indication.

“The positive results for the secondary endpoint of absence of ocular flare build upon the successful topline results from this trial which we announced last month,” said Jonathan H. Talamo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Ocular Therapeutix.

Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCUL) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for diseases and conditions of the eye using its proprietary hydrogel platform technology. Ocular Therapeutix plans to resubmit an NDA in the first quarter of 2017 for post-surgical pain for its lead product candidate, Dextenza™.

OCUL shares had an EPS loss of $2.69 in 2014 and a loss of $1.71 in 2015. Sales were $0.8 million in 2014 and $1.8 million in 2015. Four firms follow Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. Two give OCUL shares a “Strong Buy” rating and Two give OCUL a rating of “Buy”. Consensus price tagrte is $26.50.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/4/17
Ticker Symbol OCUL
Last Price a/o 8:37 AM EST $9.09
Average Volume 1.06 million
Market Cap $206 milion
Sales 1.8 million
Shares Outstanding 24.76 million
Share Float 21.79 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 2.70%
Short Float 23.45%
Short Interest Ratio 4.83
Quarterly Return 21.46%
YTD Return -0.60%
Year Return -6.52%

CymaBay Therapeutics Inc (Nasdaq: CBAY) Inks Licensing Deal with Kowa

CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. – Nasdaq: CBAY

Shares of California-based CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. are rocketing in pre-market trading. Traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CBAY, the shares closed Tuesday at $1.90. In today’s pre-market trading CBAY has hit $3.00 on very heavy volumes.

Investors appear to be reacting to news that CymaBay has entered into a licensing deal with Kowa Pharmaceuticals for development and commercialization of CymaBay’s drug Arhalofenate – an oral, once-daily dual-acting drug candidate for the treatment of gout. Arhalofenate has been licensed to Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. for the U.S.A. market only – CymaBay Pharmaceuticals retains full development and commercialization rights for arhalofenate outside the U.S.A.

Under the terms of the agreement, CymaBay will receive up to $15 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments and is eligible to receive up to an additional $190 million in payments based upon the achievement of specific development, regulatory and sales milestones.  CymaBay is also eligible to receive tiered, double digit royalties on future sales of arhalofenate products.  Kowa will be responsible for all development and commercialization costs.

Harold Van Wart, Ph.D., President and CEO of CymaBay commented on the deal “We are extremely pleased to enter into this agreement with Kowa to develop and market arhalofenate in the U.S. Kowa has proven development capabilities as well as the resources to carry out a large Phase 3 development program. They also have an established primary care sales force to market arhalofenate products. As arhalofenate is a potential novel therapy for gout, a disease most often treated by primary care physicians, it is a very good fit with Kowa’s established strength in this area…”

Three firms cover CymaBay Pharmaceuticals Inc. Two analysts give CBAY a “”Strong Buy” rating while one rates CBAY as a “Hold”. Their consensus price target is $5.00.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/4/17
Ticker Symbol CBAY
Last Price a/o 8:00 AM EST $2.77
Average Volume 88,500
Market Cap $45 million
Sales
Shares Outstanding 23.7 million
Share Float 23.13 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 0.10%
Short Float 1.29%
Short Interest Ratio 3.36
Quarterly Return -0.52%
YTD Return 9.83%
Year Return 4.40%

Titan Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TTNP) Up 15%

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Nasdaq: TTNP

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TTNP. Shares are up almost 15% on heavy volumes. Shares closed on Friday at $4.00 and have reached $4.60 in today’s early trading.

Titan Pharmaceuticals develops proprietary therapeutics for the treatment of select chronic diseases utilizing its innovative, long-term, continuous drug delivery platform, ProNeura. ProNeura implants enhance patient care by providing non-fluctuating, stable levels of medication in the blood for up to one year. Titan is in the early stages of product development programs utilizing ProNeura for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and hypothyroidism. It’s also evaluating the feasibility of additional product candidates that would be suitable for the treatment of several chronic diseases, including certain hormonal deficiencies; type 2 diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, benign prostate hyperplasia and others.

One form covers Titan Pharmaceuticals and gives TTNP a rating of “Strong Buy” with a price target of $11. TTNP reached its highs in EPS ($0.65) and sales ($10.5 million) in 2013. It progressively posted worse figures in 2014 and 2015.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Interpace Diagnostics (Nasdaq: IDXG) Shares Soar on BC/BS Agreement

Interpace Diagnostics Corp. – Nasdaq: IDXG

Interpace Diagnostics Corp. (Nasdaq: IDXG), announced today that it has entered in to an agreement with the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association’s Center for Clinical Effectiveness “Evidence Street”. This program provides the company with the opportunity to support further coverage determinations among Blue Cross Blue Shield and other health plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s 36 independent plans and Companies account for approximately 106 million covered lives in the U.S.

IDXG is trading up over 160% on the news. Jack E. Stover, President and CEO of Interpace Diagnostics stated, “We are excited about our evolving relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield’sEvidence Street which, we believe, will help ensure that we continue to develop and provide the information and data necessary to support and secure broader based insurance coverage and reimbursement for all of our products.  This relationship is another important milestone in our reimbursement strategy and, when added to our recent AETNA insurance approval for ThyraMIR  and New York State approval to market ThyGenX, bodes well for our commercial prospects in 2017 and beyond.”

Interpace Diagnostics provides diagnostic tests and pathology services for evaluating rancer risk. The Company currently has three commercialized molecular tests; PancraGen for the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer from pancreatic cysts; ThyGenX, for the diagnosis of thyroid cancer from thyroid nodules utilizing a next generation sequencing assay and ThyraMIR, for the diagnosis of thyroid cancer from thyroid nodules utilizing a proprietary gene expression assay.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/3/17
Ticker Symbol IDXG
Last Price a/o 11:47 AM EST $11.31
Average Volume 47,000
Market Cap $11.1 million
Sales $12.5 million
Shares Outstanding 2.52 million
Share Float 1.33 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 1.00%
Short Float
Short Interest Ratio
Quarterly Return 2650.00%
YTD Return 836.17%
Year Return 836.17%

Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: TCON) Reaches FDA Agreement

Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Nasdaq: TCON

Shares of San Diego, CA-based Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. are trading at their daily highs on heavy volumes. TRACON develops targeted therapies for cancer, ophthalmic and fibrotic diseases.

Traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TCON, the shares gapped up from their previous close of $4.90 on news that the biotechnology firm reached an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the protocol design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analysis approach for the Company’s Phase 3 study evaluating TRC105 for the treatment of patients with advanced angiosarcoma. The SPA process is one in which a sponsor asks the FDA to evaluate the proposed design and size of Phase 3 clinical trials that are intended to form the primary basis for determining a drug product’s efficacy. An SPA agreement indicates concurrence with the adequacy and acceptability of specific critical elements of protocol design, endpoints and analysis.

Three firms cover Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. and all three assign TCON shares a “Strong Buy” with a consensus price target of $12. In 2015 Tracon reported their strongest sales figures yet – $7.9 million but had a EPS loss of $2.20. TCON shares have never experienced positive EPS.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/3/17
Ticker Symbol TCON
Last Price a/o 11:30 AM EST $5.75
Average Volume 47,000
Market Cap $69.78 million
Sales $4.2 million
Shares Outstanding 14.24 million
Share Float 13.51 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 37.69%
Short Float 0.70%
Short Interest Ratio 2.01
Quarterly Return -26.54%
YTD Return -46.97%
Year Return -46.97%

Depomed Inc. (Nasdaq: DEPO) Buyout Imminent?

Depomed Inc. – Nasdaq: DEPO

A New York Post article is sending shares of Depomed Inc. higher in pre-market trading. Depomed Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under ticker DEPO. The article claims that famed Wall St buy-out firm KKR is interested in purchasing Depomed. Previous reports had put any buyout offer would be around $25 a share. At 9:00 AM EST trading for DEPO was under $20.

Newark, CA-based Depomed had previously rejected attempts to purchase the company before finally putting itself out for sale to the market. The moves to reject potential suitors brought scorn for Depomed’s board from shareholders who threatened to remove several board members.

Depomed Inc. specializes in the production of painkillers. Cambria is a drug that addresses migraine headaches but Nucynta, an opiod that carries addiction risks, is their largest source of revenue – $72 million in the last quarter. In addition to its ability to develop and commercialize new drugs, Depomed also has successfully developed and licensed its unique drug-delivery technology, Acuform®. This patented oral-delivery technology allows for the targeted, extended release of pharmaceutical compounds into the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Eight firms follow Depomed Inc. Shares of DEPO have been rated by five analysts as a “Strong Buy”; two as a “Hold”; and one rates it a “Sell”. Revenues and EPS both suffered in 2015 from their 2014 highs.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/3/17
Ticker Symbol DEPO
Last Price a/o 9:00 AM EST $19.87
Average Volume 1.68 million
Market Cap 1.11 Billion
Sales $443.2 million
Shares Outstanding 61.42 million
Share Float 60.98 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.40%
Short Float 20.61%
Short Interest Ratio 7.46
Quarterly Return -27.83%
YTD Return -0.61%
Year Return -0.61%