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The Newsmakers: April 8-12, 2013
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BCRX) moved significantly higher (~42% by Friday), although it ended the week significantly lower than the highs made on Monday. Bio-Wire put out a note on the company right before a serious outbreak of H7N9 (another straight of “bird flu”), which resulted in another note later the same day explaining the situation. Analysts were quick to dismiss this as a non-catalyst for BioCryst from a financial standpoint, although we expect the news to have some positive impact on upcoming discussions that the company will hold with the FDA & Department of Health and Human Services (the entity funding BioCryst through a contract).
Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD) , which we have been bullish on, moved nearly 63% higher by the end of the week after the FDA agreed to lay out the path towards NDA submission and eventual approval for Acadia’s flagship drug pimavanserin based on an already-completed Phase III trial that spiked the stock last year.
Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT) also saw a great week, closing over 11% higher after new data was released last Tuesday on GlaxoSmithKline’s competing muscular dystrophy drug drisapersen which further supported the notion that the mechanism of action that Sarepta’s eteplirsen and drisapersen share (exon skipping, particularly exon 51 of the dystrophin gene in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients) was viable. Media coverage (from us & others) was particularly heavy since those affected with muscular dystrophy now treatment options that actually work.
Affymax (NASDAQ: AFFY) crumbled for another 9.5% in the last week as continuing investor lawsuits whittle away at whatever’s left of the company’s reputation. The website is also non-operational, which reflects the state that the company is currently in. Remaining employees will be “separated”, and it seems almost certain that litigation fees will destroy whatever is left of the company’s resources.
Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) received CE marking (European approval) for a galectin-3 assay known as Architect, which has big potential for aiding in the prognosis of patients at risk for adverse cardiovascular events and many other indications which are being studied now. More details on galectin-3 can be found here.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR) had a nasty fall of over 10% by Friday in a prolonged, bearish reaction to a research note put out by Favus Institutional Research suggesting that Questcor was setting itself up for a miss in upcoming quarterly earnings. We don’t agree that this will happen.