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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced results from  a Phase 2 clinical trial assessing the triple combination of  Olysio (simeprevir), Achillion Pharmaceuticals' odalasvir (formerly ACH-3102) and Janssen's Alios BioPharma unit's AL-335 (JNJ-4178). The results showed a 100% cure rate for six- and eight-week treatment regimens in HCV genotype 1 patients without cirrhosis. However, the three-drug combo did not demonstrate sufficient efficacy in HCV genotype 3 patients to justify continued development in this population.
Johnson & Johnson stock has gained over 5 percent this year so far and is trading close to its 52 weeks high of $129.

C.R. Bard Inc. ($BCR) and Becton Dickinson (BDX) finalize the deal for buying Bard. The deal provides for Bard shareholders to receive nearly $222.93 per share in cash. They will also be entitled to receive  0.5077 shares of Becton Dickinson for each share of Bard they hold. The entire deal is worth nearly $24 billion and values Bard stock at $317 per share. This valuation is at 25 percent premium to the company stock’s Friday closing price.
The acquisition is expected to generate $300 million in annual run-rate synergies by 2020. It is also expected to produce revenue synergies by 2019. Both the parties expect the deal to be finalized fall this year. Bard stock gained 24 percent in the pre-market trading segment.

 

EyeGate Pharmaceuticals ($EYEG) announced filing an S-1 for offering its stock. The initial registration is for a maximum offering of $11.5 million. The company has listed Wedbush PacGrow as its underwriter. The company plans to use proceeds for supporting its operations "including for clinical trials, for working capital and for other general corporate purposes."

Argenx ($ARGNF) announced filing for a US initial public offering of up to $74.8 million. The dutch company is engaged in the business of providing development of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases. It plans to list its ADRs on Nasdaq under the symbol ARGX.

Merck ($MRK) announced receiving the FDA approval for its biosimilar drug Renflexis, which is a second near-copy of Remicade. The drug is intended to be used for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system disorders. Merck will market the drug and it is likely to be available in six months. The drug has been developed by Samsung Bioepis of South Korea.

Gilead Sciences reported results from two Phase 2 clinical trials assessing assessing it  Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) in special patient populations. The results showed total and almost-total cure rates.  One study, PS-101, in HCV-positive children aged 6 - 11, demonstrated a cure rate of 99% (n=89/90) while the other study, PS-098, in adults co-infected with HCV and HBV, showed a 100% (n=111/111) cure rate.

 
Novo Nordisk ($NVO) and XOMA ($XOMA) announced terminating their exclusive license deal. The company stated that the termination is due to certain strategic and business reasons. It will be effective 90 days from April 20.
Vernalis ($VNLPF) announced receiving a Complete Response Letter (CRL)  in response to its New Drug Application (NDA) seeking approval of CCP-07 to treat coughs and colds. The company says it will work with the agency to address the issues. The drug is being developed by Tris Pharma for Vernalis under their February 2012 agreement.*******************

Brokerage
Action
Company
Rating
Price Target
Impact on Share Price
BTIG Research
Initiates
Cascadian Therapeutics (CASC)
Buy

High
Canaccord Genuity
Set Price Target
Atara Biotherapeutics (ATRA)
Buy
$47.00
Medium
Cantor Fitzgerald
Set Price Target
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH)
Buy
$14.00
High
Citigroup
Reiterates
Allergan plc (AGN)
Buy
$184.50 -> $261.27
Low
Credit Suisse Group AG
Reiterates
Coherus Biosciences (CHRS)
Buy
$38.00
High
First Analysis
Initiates
Repligen (RGEN)
Equal Weight

Low
Jefferies Group LLC
Reiterates
Charles River Laboratories Intl. (CRL)
Buy
$106.00
Low

Gainers (% price change) Last Trade Change Mkt Cap
Kindred Healthcare, Inc. KND 9.70 +0.75 (8.38%) 831.12M
Pacific Biosciences of PACB 5.05 +0.33 (6.99%) 469.40M
Cytokinetics, Inc. CYTK 14.25 +0.70 (5.17%) 616.19M
Oclaro, Inc. OCLR 8.85 +0.39 (4.61%) 1.47B
Tenet Healthcare Corp THC 15.35 +0.36 (2.40%) 1.49B
Losers (% price change)
Immunomedics, Inc. IMMU 5.20 -0.78 (-13.04%) 568.73M
Corcept Therapeutics Inc. CORT 9.11 -0.88 (-8.81%) 1.02B
China Cord Blood Corp CO 6.85 -0.41 (-5.65%) 811.22M
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals ACRX 2.55 -0.15 (-5.56%) 117.79M
Rigel Pharmaceuticals RIGL 2.87 -0.16 (-5.28%) 348.66M
Most Actives (dollar volume)
Pfizer Inc. PFE 33.64 -0.10 (-0.30%) 201.11B
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 121.76 -0.11 (-0.09%) 331.44B
Merck & Co., Inc. MRK 61.89 -0.66 (-1.06%) 169.67B
UnitedHealth Group Inc UNH 171.16 -0.38 (-0.22%) 167.30B
Amgen, Inc. AMGN 160.41 -1.63 (-1.01%) 118.62B