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AstraZeneca (AZN) shares gained earlier in the week on hopes for the company’s cancer drug pipeline. AZN, like all other major pharma companies, felt the negative impact of patent cliff. However, the British drugmaker is pinning hopes on its cancer pipeline to revive growth. Recently, Jefferies upgraded AstraZeneca to a Buy rating, noting that investors have underestimated the company’s potential of being first to market with a combination immunotherapy treatment for the most common forms of lung cancer.

Flex Pharma Commences Mid-Stage Study of FLX-787 in ALS- Flex Pharma (FLKS) announced that it has initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating FLX-787 for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study, which will be based in Australia, will evaluate the safety and efficacy of FLX-787 in treating ALS-related leg cramps and/or spasticity. FLX-787 is an oral tablet formulation of a single molecule transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel activator.

Eyegate Bags Another Year of DoD Funding for Ocular Bandage Film- Eyegate Pharmaceuticals (EYEG) announced that the U.S. Army Research and Material Command awarded a second year of funding to its subsidiary Jade Therapeutics to support the continued development of its proprietary thiolated hyaluronic acid for use as an ocular bandage film to treat injuries to the surface of the eye. The $448,185 award brings the total funding up to $1.2 million. The second tranche of funding will enable EyeGate to determine the critical properties and characteristics of the polymer.

No approvals to report.

No patents to report.

Venaxis (APPY) announced that it is acquiring BiOptix Diagnostics, a Boulder, Colorado-based company, for an undisclosed amount. BiOptix has developed a system used by drug discovery scientists that enables label-free real-time detection of biomolecular interactions.  The company’s  laboratory instrument, the 404pi, utilizes an ultra-sensitive optical technology called Surface Plasma Resonance (SPR) that measures changes in the refractive index on the gold surface of a sensor chip due to a change in mass that occurs in a molecular binding event.

Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPYY) is looking for potential acquisitions in the U.S. and other overseas markets, according to a report by Reuters. The company is considering major acquisitions as it looks to reduce dependence on sluggish domestic sales. In a telephonic interview to Reuters, CEO Christophe Weber said that the company is much more organized and ready to do something now than one year ago. Takeda would of course benefit from lower valuations given the sharp pullback in the biotech sector in the last one year.

DelMar Pharmaceuticals (DMPI) has filed for a Form S-3 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the filing, the company may from time to time, in one or more offerings at prices and on terms that we will determine at the time of each offering, sell common stock, preferred stock, warrants, or a combination of these securities, or units, for an aggregate initial offering price of up to $100,000,000.

Switzerland-based biotechnology company AC Immune announced the terms of its $55 million IPO. The company is offering 4.5 million shares at a price range of $11 to $13 per share. AC Immune is focusing on the development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. The company will list its shares on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ACIU.

No earnings to report.

Company (Ticker) Brokerage Action Recommendation Price Target My Price Target
Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) Raymond James Financial Initiation Outperform

$48

N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Cantor Fitzgerald Downgrade From Buy to Hold

$15

N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Wedbush Price Target Cut Outperform From $36 to $20 N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Stifel Nicolaus Price Target Cut Buy From $29 to $24 N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Janney Montgomery Scott Downgrade/Price Target Cut From Buy to Sell From $23 to $11 N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Wells Fargo & Co. Downgrade From Outperform to Market Perform N/A N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) Roth Capital Downgrade/Price Target Cut From Buy to Neutral From $34 to $12 N/A
Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. (AGTC) BMO Capital Markets Price Target Cut Outperform From $25 to $20 N/A
Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) JPMorgan Chase & Co. Initiation Overweight

$40

N/A
Aptose Bioscience (APTO) RBC Capital Markets Reiterate Outperform N/A N/A
AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) FBR & Co. Reiterate Buy N/A N/A
Celgene (CELG) Jefferies Group Reiterate Buy

$137

$140

Celgene (CELG) BMO Capital Markets Reiterate Outperform

$141

$140

Celgene (CELG) Robert W. Baird Reiterate Outperform

$162

$140

Cempra (CEMP) Raymond James Financial Initiation Outperform

$32

N/A
Collegium Pharmaceutical (COLL) Gabelli Initiation Buy

$25

N/A
Egalet (EGLT) Gabelli Initiation Buy N/A N/A
Geron (GERN) Piper Jaffray Cos. Price Target Cut Overweight From $10 to $5 TBU
Geron (GERN) FBR & Co. Price Target Cut Outperform From $6 to $5 TBU
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) BNP Paribas Downgrade From Neutral to Underperform N/A N/A
Horizon Pharma (HZNP) Mizuho Price Target Raised Buy From $30 to $33 N/A
Horizon Pharma (HZNP) BMO Capital Markets Reiterate Outperform

$30

N/A
Intra-Cellular Therapies (ITCI) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reiterate Overweight

$57

N/A
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Jefferies Group Price Target Cut Hold From $119 to $115 N/A
Merck & Co. (MRK) Morgan Stanley Price Target Set Hold

$60

N/A
Nivalis Therapeutics (NVLS) Raymond James Financial Initiation Outperform

$20

N/A
Novo Nordisk (NVO) BNP Paribas Upgrade From Neutral to Outperform N/A N/A
Novo Nordisk (NVO) Pacific Crest Upgrade From Neutral to Outperform N/A N/A
Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBO) S&P Equity Research Price Target Cut N/A From $0.59 to $0.43 N/A
Bio Blast Pharma (ORPN) Roth Capital Reiterate Buy

$15

N/A
Pfizer (PFE) Jefferies Group Price Target Cut Buy From $40 to $39 N/A
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) Roth Capital Reiterate Neutral

$0.50

N/A
Perrigo (PRGO) Deutsche Bank Reiterate Buy

$105

N/A
Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) Gabelli Downgrade From Buy to Hold

$2.50

N/A
Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) Raymond James Financial Initiation Outperform

$75

N/A
Sanofi (SNY) BNP Paribas Upgrade From Underperform to Neutral N/A N/A
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) Citigroup Initiation Market Perform N/A N/A
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) Raymond James Financial Initiation Market Perform N/A N/A

Opko Health (OPK)- Dr. Phillip Frost, CEO & Chairman, bought 10,000 shares at $9.95. The total value of the transaction was $99,530. Dr. Frost now owns 160,145,143 shares of OPK.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (LJPC)- Kevin C. Tang, Director, bought 139,035 shares in three separate transactions. Tang bought 100,000 shares at $19.72; 22,587 shares at $19.92; and 16,448 shares at $20.28. Tang now owns 3,191,165 shares of LJPC.

Seattle Genetics (SGEN)- Felix Baker, Director, bought 447,311 shares in three separate transactions. Baker bought 256,220 shares at $50.42; 49,889 shares at $51.14; and 141,202 shares at $51.09. Baker now owns 39,432,496 shares of SGEN.

No insider sells to report.

No management changes and additions to report.

NYSE- Axovant Sciences (AXON) shares were among the major gainers on the NYSE. The stock closed 1.08% higher.

NASDAQ- AveXis (AVXS) shares were among the major gainers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 8.63% higher. Ocera Therapeutics (OCRX) ended the day 6.41% higher. Nivalis Therapeutics (NVLS) ended the day 5.79% higher. Applied Genetics Technologies (AGTC) shares were among the major losers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 31.77% lower. Avalanche Biotechnologies (ADVM) ended the day 9.16% lower. Concordia International (CXRX) ended the day 9.10% lower.

NYSEMKT- Asterias Biotherapeutics (AST) shares were among the major movers on the NYSEMKT. The stock closed 6.12% lower.

OTC- Soligenix (SNGX) shares were among the major movers on the OTC market. The stock closed 5.13% lower.

Company (Ticker) Short Interest as a % of Float % Change Days to Cover
Actinium Pharmaceuticals (ATNM)

3.8%

-6.8%

5

Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE)

10.2%

-2.7%

13

AmpliPhi Biosciences (APHB)

2.9%

-2.1%

4

Aoxing Pharmaceuticals (AXN)

0.1%

-7.6%

1

Asterias Biotherapeutics (AST)

6.5%

15.4%

8

Bellerophon Therapeutics (BLPH)

1.1%

8.5%

3

Bellicum Therapeutics (BLCM)

13.5%

-1.6%

10

Benitec Biopharma (BNTC) -

-20.8%

0

Bio Blast Pharma (ORPN)

2.1%

12.7%

1

Biocept (BIOC)

11.6%

3.6%

8