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Flex Pharma ($FLKS) announced that it plans to reorganize its clinical activities. As the result of this exercise, the firm will de-prioritize its clinical development activities in nocturnal leg cramps in favor of severe neurological diseases, specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS) and peripheral neuropathies like Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT). The company now plans to launch U.S.-based Phase 2 studies this year assessing FLX-787, its transient receptor potential ion channel activator, in these indications.
The company CEO Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., said that the company is well-funded through early 2019. The company stock is currently over 16% down this year so far, continuing the slide it started to witness late last year. The new direction may provide some support to the stock.

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) announced its forecast for 2017, trailing behind broad market expectations. The company also provided results for its fourth quarter. Johnson & Johnson reported its quarterly revenue at $18.1 billion, up 1.7 percent. Its earnings stood at $1.58 per share, up 9.7% on quarter over quarter basis. The EPS beat the consensus by 2 cents, sales missed consensus estimates of $18.26 billion.
The company’s 2016 revenue stood at $71.9 billion. It earned $6.73 per share, excluding items. However, Johnson & Johnson offered lukewarm guidance. The company expects $74.1 billion to $74.8 billion in sales, up 3.5% from. 2016, but trailing behind the consensus of 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for $75.1 billion. The company expects EPS minus items at $6.93-$7.08 range, missed the estimates of $7.11.
The company stock tanked on the news. It has lost nearly 3 percent of its value this year so far.

 

• Intrexon Corporation ($XON) announced intent to acquire GenVec, Inc. (GNVC), a clinical-stage company and pioneer in the development of AdenoVerse™ gene delivery technology. The acquisition will help in the integration and development of GenVec's expertise in adenoviral vectors and cGMP drug product manufacturing to enhance its broad gene transfer capabilities that encompass multiple viral and non-viral platforms.
Pursuant to the definitive agreement, upon the closing of the transaction GenVec stockholders will receive 0.297 of a share of Intrexon Common Stock in exchange for each share of GenVec common stock. This exchange ratio represents $7.00 per share of GenVec's common stock based on Intrexon's 5-day volume weighted average price as of January 23, 2017. GenVec stockholders will also receive a right to contingent consideration equal to 50% of any milestone or royalty payments received within 36 months after the closing of the transaction under GenVec's Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Novartis.
• Asterias Biotherapeutics ($AST) reports that patients with complete cervical spinal cord injuries who received 10M AST-OPC1 cells showed additional motor function improvement six and nine months following treatment. The data were generated in the ongoing Phase 1/2a SCiStar study.

• Roche ($RHHBY) announced that the FDA has accepted the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) seeking approval of Actemra (tocilizumab) under Priority Review. The review is being sought for the use of the drug for the treatment of giant cell arteritis (GCA), an inflammation of the lining of the arteries.
Actemra, a humanized interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist, is currently approved in the U.S. to treat rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Priority Review status shortens the review cycle from the usual 10 months to six months. The PDUFA date is expected to be in late July.
• Cellectar Biosciences ($CLRB) announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued the company a new patent (No. 9,550,002) covering method of use for lead product candidate CLR 131, in addition to CLR 125, for the treatment of cancer. The company said that this patent strengthens its radiotherapeutic intellectual property portfolio and further demonstrates the company’s commitment to optimizing its PDC technology platform.

 
• Bruker ($BRKR) announced the acquisition of Hysterion. The acquired company is a developer of nanomechanical test instrumentation. The financial terms for the deal have not been disclosed. The deal will help augmenting Bruker’s portfolio of atomic force microscopes, surface profilometers and tribology and mechanical testing systems used in nanomaterials research.
• Intrexon Corp (NYSE:XON) has agreed to acquire GenVec (NASDAQ:GNVC) in an all-stock transaction. The deal will help boosting Intrexon’s portfolio with GenVec's expertise in adenoviral vectors and cGMP drug product manufacturing. The deal has valued GenVec at $7/share, a 54% premium to Monday's close of $4.54. GenVec shareholders will receive 0.297 of a share of XON for each GNVC common share owned.
GNVC shareholders will also be eligible to receive contingent consideration equal to 50% of any milestone or royalty payments received within 36 months of the close of the deal under GenVec's agreement with Novartis.

 
• Novartis AG ($NVS) announced its fourth quarter results. The company earned $0.40 per share for the quarter. Its adjusted earnings stood at $1.12 per share, beating street expectations of $1.09 per share. The company posted revenue of $12.32 billion in the period. For the entire year, the company reported profit of $6.71 billion, or $2.80 per share. Its revenue was reported as $48.52 billion.
• Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) reported its fourth quarter revenue at $756.9 million, up 11.9 percent while its GAAP earnings stood at $5.13 per share.

• Hill-Rom Holdings Inc ($HRC) received Buy rating from Stifel Nicolaus. The price target for the stock has been set at $70 apiece.
• ADMA Biologics ($ADMA) received Outperform rating from Maxim Group. The price target for the stock has been set at $13 apiece.

Gainers (% price change) Last Trade Change Mkt Cap
II-VI, Inc.
IIVI (NASDAQ)
36.05 +4.65 (14.81%) 2.29B
ResMed Inc.
RMD (NYSE)
69.72 +6.12 (9.62%) 9.82B
Gen-Probe Incorporated
10.13 +0.73 (7.77%) 1.41B
Curis, Inc.
CRIS (NASDAQ)
2.77 +0.19 (7.36%) 386.33M
Oclaro, Inc.
OCLR (NASDAQ)
9.99 +0.68 (7.30%) 1.65B
Losers (% price change)
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals
KERX (NASDAQ)
4.89 -0.34 (-6.41%) 499.57M
Pacific Biosciences of
PACB (NASDAQ)
4.53 -0.22 (-4.63%) 437.18M
Synergy Pharmaceuticals
SGYP (NASDAQ)
5.53 -0.23 (-3.99%) 969.89M
Zogenix, Inc.
ZGNX (NASDAQ)
8.20 -0.30 (-3.53%) 193.07M
Fluidigm Corporation
FLDM (NASDAQ)
6.31 -0.23 (-3.52%) 182.07M
Most Actives (dollar volume)
Johnson & Johnson
JNJ (NYSE)
111.76 -2.15 (-1.89%) 303.41B
Pfizer Inc.
PFE (NYSE)
31.15 -0.31 (-0.99%) 187.18B
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
BMY (NYSE)
48.96 -1.03 (-2.06%) 83.10B
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
GILD (NASDAQ)
70.25 -0.44 (-0.62%) 92.13B
Humana Inc
HUM (NYSE)
199.94 -5.17 (-2.52%) 30.48B