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Acorda Therapeutics Inc. ($ACOR) stock jumped up as the company announced that  the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Trials and Appeal Board (PTAB) upheld all four patents challenged via the inter partes review (IPR) process.  These patents were Nos. 8,663,685 (the ‘685 patent), 8,440,703 (the ‘703 patent), 8,354,437 (the ‘437 patent) and 8,007,826 (the ‘826 patent) , set to expire in 2025, 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively.

Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda's President and CEO, said, “The court decision reflects the merits of the case we presented and the validity and strength of our intellectual property for AMPYRA.” The company stock showed a positive response to the verdict. It is now up over 60 percent this year so far, bringing its 12 months loss down to 16 percent.

Mylan NV ($MYL) announced the launch of its Desvenlafaxine Extended-release Tablets, 50 mg and 100 mg in the US. These tablets are a generic version of Pristiq, which is used for treating major depressive disorder. Pristiq belongs to Pfizer. The market for the drug is believed to be worth close to $800 million.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch recently stated that the company plans to diversify its offerings to counter the effects of EpiPen controversy. The company was severely chastised for increasing the price of two-pack to $600. The company stock has shown solid performance this year so far, despite this debacle.

 

Neuralstem Inc. ($CUR) announced that its preclinical data on NSI-566 spinal cord-derived neural stem cells  showed robust engraftment and long-term survival of NSI-566 post transplantation in a rat model of penetrating ballistic-like brain injury.  NSI-566 is Neuralstem’s lead stem cell therapy candidate. These are the first data from the 4-year proof-of-concept research program, funded by the United States Department of Defense, for NSI-566 in traumatic brain injury.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($BCRX) announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 5.29 million shares of its common stock. The shares have been priced at $8.5 apiece. The gross proceeds from this offering to BioCryst are expected to be $45.0 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by BioCryst.

Cellceutix Corporation ($CTIX) announced interim results in the first two cohorts of its ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial of Brilacidin for the induction of remission of mild-to-moderate Ulcerative Colitis. All 12 patients are reported to have experienced a beneficial response, as measured by the Modified Mayo Disease Activity Index (MMDAI). Patient Quality-of-Life, as assessed by the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ), was improved in all 12 patients after six weeks of daily Brilacidin treatment.

Intellia Therapeutics ($NTLA) reported updated data showing increased levels of genome editing efficiency in vivo and durability results with its CRISPR/Cas9 technology, following a single administration.  The company used its ipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology to achieve approximately a 97 percent reduction in serum transthyretin (TTR) protein driven by 70 percent gene editing efficiency in the mouse liver. 

 

Kitov Pharmaceuticals Holdings ($KTOV) announced that the Company has signed a definitive License Agreement for its lead product candidate, KIT-302 with Kuhnil Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The Collaboration will give Kuhnil the exclusive right and license to manufacture, distribute and sell KIT-302 in South Korea.  The arrangement is contingent upon receiving marketing authorization in South Korea.

 

Vivus Inc. ($VVUS) reported its fourth quarter profit at $0.54 per share. Its total net income for the period stood at $56.6 million. The company had suffered a loss for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The company’s quarterly revenue stood at $81.8 million. For the entire year, the company reported net income of $23.3 million, or $0.22 per share. Its revenue was reported as $124.3 million.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($AUPH) reported that for  the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company recorded a consolidated net loss of $23.3 million or $0.66 per common share, as compared to a consolidated net loss of $18.6 million or $0.58 per common share in 2015. The Company incurred net research and development expenditures of $14.5 million. The Company reported a consolidated net loss of $8.3 million or $0.21 per common share for the three months ended December 31, 2016, as compared to a consolidated net loss of $4.1 million or $0.13 per common share for the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Brokerage
Action
Company
Rating
Price Target
SunTrust Banks
Downgrades
The Advisory Board Company (ABCO)
Buy -> Hold

Maxim Group
Raises Target
Joint Corp (JYNT)
Buy
$5.00 -> $7.00
SunTrust Banks
Upgrades
LHC Group (LHCG)
Hold -> Buy

Royal Bank of Canada
Downgrades
LHC Group (LHCG)
Outperform -> Sector Perform
$44.00 -> $58.00
SunTrust Banks
Upgrades
Sierra Oncology (SRRA)
Hold -> Buy

Rodman & Renshaw
Raises Target
TearLab Corp (TEAR)
Buy
$2.00 -> $12.00

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