Merck & Co. (MRK) is the latest company to enter the race for Medivation (MDVN). Since Sanofi (SNY) first made its offer, MDVN has seen interest from several companies, including Pfizer (PFE). I believe that MDVN is not likely to accept an offer below $75 per share. MDVN could be interesting M&A play, with near-term upside.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) has had a good run over the last few trading sessions. On Thursday, the stock closed 2.7% lower but over the last five trading sessions, VRX has gained more than 32%. Thursday’s lower finish was likely due to some profit booking following the recent rally.

On Thursday, VRX also announced that it has obtained lender approval to amend its credit facility. The amendment reduces the coverage maintenance covenant to 2.0x, provides more flexibility to sell assets, permits the issuance of secured notes with shorter maturities to repay term loans and permits it to incur other debt to repay term loans.

Valeant has also agreed to increase each of the applicable interest rate margins on its credit facility by 0.50% and pay an amendment fee equal to 0.25% of the aggregate principal amount of each consenting lender's outstanding loans and commitments under the credit facility.

Juniper Terminates Development of COL-1077- Juniper Pharmaceuticals (JNP) shares plunged on Thursday after the company announced that a Phase 2b clinical trial evaluating its COL-1077 failed to meet its primary and secondary endpoints. COL-1077, an investigational 10% lidocaine bioadhesive gel, was being evaluated for the reduction in pain intensity in women undergoing an endometrial biopsy with tenaculum (surgical clamp) placement. Following the failure of the mid-stage study, Juniper is discontinuing development of COL-1077.

Auris Medical’s Lead Product Candidate Fails in Late-Stage Study- Auris Medical (EARS) announced that its Phase 3 clinical trial, TACTT2, evaluating lead product candidate Keyzilen (AM-101) for the treatment of acute tinnitus (ringing in the ear) failed to beat placebo in both co-primary endpoints. The co-primary endpoints were the improvement in subjective tinnitus loudness from baseline to Day 84 and the improvement in tinnitus burden from baseline to Day 84 as measured by the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI).

Aclaris’ Lead Product Candidate Succeeds in Mid-Stage Study- Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS) announced that a Phase 2 study evaluating its lead product candidate, A-101 Topical Solution (A-101) for the treatment of common warts met its primary and secondary endpoints. The primary endpoint was the mean change from baseline in the Physician's Wart Assessment (PWA) score. Secondary endpoints included two responder analyses: the proportion of patients whose target wart was judged to be clear as measured by the PWA scale and the proportion of patients whose target wart was judged to be either clear or barely evident as measured by PWA. Patients treated with the 45% formulation showed a statistically valid change in PWA score versus placebo (p=0.01). Patients in this cohort also met the secondary endpoints (p=0.02 for both).

Insys Commences Mid-Stage Study of Cannabidiol Candidate- Insys Therapeutics (INSY) announced that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase 2 study evaluating its pharmaceutical cannabidiol candidate for the treatment of cocaine dependence. The primary endpoint of the study is drug-cue-induced craving at Day 8 as measured by a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS). Secondary endpoints are stress-induced craving at Day 8, cocaine use during the post-detoxification phase and the number of days to relapse. The study is expected to be completed in December 2019.

Cerulean Announces Workforce Reduction- Following the failure of lead product candidate CRLX101 in a mid-stage study, Cerulean Pharma (CERU) announced that it is reducing its workforce by almost half. The company will have 23 full-time employees following the job cuts. CERU expects to save around $5 million per year in expenses due to workforce reductions.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved its CINQAERO (reslizumab) as add-on therapy in adults patients with severe eosinophilic asthma inadequately controlled despite high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus another medicinal product for maintenance treatment. The product will be commercially available in the coming months. It is marketed under the brand name CINQAIR in the U.S. and Canada.

Pulmatrix (PULM) announced that the FDA has granted an Orphan Drug status for its inhaled drug for treating pulmonary fungal infections in cystic fibrosis patients, named PUR1900.

No patents to report.

No deals and collaborations to report.

OncoMed (OMED) announced the pricing of its public offering of 5.5 million shares of common stock at $10 per share. Underwriters to the offering have been granted an option to purchase an additional 825,000 shares to cover for over-allotment, if any. Net proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes.

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals (EIGR) announced the pricing of its public offering of 1.25M shares of common stock at $16 per share. Underwriters to the offering have been granted an option to purchase an additional 187,500 shares to cover for over-allotment, if any. Net proceeds from the offering will fund clinical development, working capital and general corporate purposes.

NantKWest (NK) has filed a Form S-3 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, the company may offer and sell from time to time, in one or more series or issuances and on terms that it will determine at the time of the offering, any combination of securities described in the prospectus, up to an aggregate maximum amount of $300 million.

No IPOs to report.

Auris Medical reported second quarter earnings of CHF0.25 per share. The company ended the quarter with CHF32.8 million in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet.

Biondvax Pharmaceuticals (BVXV) reported a loss of NIS0.02 per share in its second quarter. The company ended the quarter with NIS30.7 million in cash on its balance sheet.

Company (Ticker) Brokerage Action Recommendation Price Target My Price Target
Alere (ALR) BTIG Research Reiterate Buy

$48

N/A
bluebird bio (BLUE) Goldman Sachs Group Reiterate Buy

$135

N/A
bluebird bio (BLUE) Piper Jaffray Cos. Price Target Cut Overweight From $117 to $95 N/A
Cerulean Pharma (CERU) Wedbush Downgrade From Outperform to Neutral N/A N/A
Cerulean Pharma (CERU) Roth Capital Price Target Cut Buy From $9 to $2.50 N/A
Cerulean Pharma (CERU) Janney Montgomery Scott Downgrade From Buy to Neutral N/A N/A
Cerulean Pharma (CERU) Leerink Swann Downgrade/Price Target Cut From Outperform to Market Perform From $8 to $1.50 N/A
Clovis Oncology (CLVS) Stifel Nicolaus Reiterate Buy

$30

N/A
Clovis Oncology (CLVS) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reiterate Hold

$14

N/A
Cytokinetics (CYTK) Roth Capital Reiterate Buy

$22

N/A
Heron Therapeutics (HRTX) Leerink Swann Reiterate Outperform

$33

N/A
Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) JMP Securities Reiterate Buy N/A N/A
Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) FBR & Co. Reiterate Market Perform N/A N/A
Immune Pharmaceuticals (IMNP) FBR & Co. Reiterate Buy N/A N/A
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) Maxim Group Reiterate Hold N/A N/A
Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reiterate Overweight

$46

N/A
Juniper Pharmaceuticals (JNP) Northland Securities Downgrade From Outperform to Market Perform N/A N/A
Karyopharm Therapeutics (KPTI) HC Wainwright Initiation Buy

$15

N/A
Pfizer (PFE) Deutsche Bank Reiterate Buy

$44

N/A
ProQR Therapeutics (PRQR) Leerink Swann Reiterate Buy N/A N/A
Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) Cowen and Company Reiterate Buy N/A TBU
Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) Credit Suisse Group Reiterate Hold

$30

TBU
Regenexbio (RGNX) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reiterate Buy

$25

N/A
Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reiterate Buy N/A N/A
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) Mizuho Reiterate Underperform

$11

N/A

Relypsa (RLYP)- James D. Dondero, a 10% owner, bought 500 shares at $31.92. The total value of the transaction was $15,961. Dondero now owns 128,500 shares of RLYP.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (ACAD)- Edmund Harrigan, Director, bought 1,000 shares at $32.97. The total value of the transaction was $32,970. Harrigan now owns 1,000 shares of ACAD.

Illumina (ILMN)- Daniel Bradbury, Director, sold 600 shares at $168.42. The total value of the transaction was $101,053. Bradbury still owns 16,465 shares of ILMN.

Xenon Pharmaceuticals (XENE)- Frank A. Holler, Director, sold 18,062 shares in three separate transactions. Holler sold 6,863 shares at $8.25; 1,600 shares at $7.89; and 9,599 shares at $7.70. Holler still owns 157,807 shares of XENE.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals (SCLN)- Friedhelm Blobel, President & CEO, sold 501,875 shares at $10. The total value of the transaction was approximately $5.02 million. Blobel still owns 86,380 shares of SCLN.

Xencor (XNCR)- Basil I Dahiyat, President & CEO, sold 45,886 shares at $22.06. The total value of the transaction was approximately $1.01 million. Dahiyat still owns 381,128 shares of XNCR.

Akorn (AKRX) announced the appointment of Rob Monahan as SVP of Corporate Development. He joins the firm from Walgreens Boots Alliance where he focused on M&As.

NYSE- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) shares were among the major losers on the NYSE. The stock closed 2.70% lower. InVitae (NVTA) ended the day 1.93% lower.

NASDAQ- Karyopharm Therapeutics (KPTI) shares were among the major gainers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 11.44% higher. Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR) ended the day 11.36% higher. InVivo Therapeutics (NVIV) ended the day 9.61% higher. Cerulean Pharma (CERU) shares were among the major losers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 56.20% lower. Juniper Pharmaceuticals (JNP) ended the day 19.24% lower. Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) ended the day 15.07% lower.

NYSEMKT- Asterias Biotherapeutics (AST) shares were among the major movers on the NYSEMKT. The stock closed 3.15% higher.

OTC- Soligenix (SNGX) shares were among the major movers on the OTC market. The stock closed 3.08% lower at $0.630.

Company (Ticker) Short Interest as a % of Float % Change Days to Cover
ProNAi Therapeutics (DNAI)

6.3%

63.2%

1

ProQR Therapeutics (PRQR)

0.2%

4.4%

8

Proteon Therapeutics (PRTO)

1.7%

-10.6%

9

Proteostasis Therapeutics (PTI)

6.6%

0.9%

9

Prothena Corporation (PRTA)

15%

2.3%

12

pSivida Corp. (PSDV)

3.2%

-1.5%

16

PTC Therapeutics (PTCT)

22.2%

5.9%

6

Pulmatrix (PULM)

1.1%

525%

0

Pulse Bioscience (PLSE)

0.9%

8.9%

4

Pfizer (PFE)

0.8%

0.3%

3

Puma Biotechnology (PBYI)

19.7%

-4.5%

6