Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) recently reported its quarterly results and also provided an update on operations. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company ended the June quarter with $262.7 million in cash on its balance sheet, which translates to roughly 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

XLRN’s lead product candidate is  luspatercept, which is being evaluated in Phase 3 studies for the treatment of the hematologic diseases, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and beta-thalassemia under a global partnership with Celgene (CELG).

Under the collaboration agreement with Celgene, XLRN is entitled to tiered royalties in the low-to-mid 20% range. The company also entitled to development, regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, CELG is responsible for 100% of development costs and 100% of XLRN’s commercialization costs for North America.

XLRN shares have fallen nearly 40% this year. The stock suffered during the sell-off in the biotech sector at the start of this year and has failed to recover since. I believe XLRN is attractively valued at current levels and offers a favorable risk/reward profile.

Pfizer Close to Acquiring Medivation- According to a report in the Financial Times, Pfizer (PFE) is close to acquiring Medivation (MDVN) for approximately $14 billion. Since Sanofi (SNY) first offered to acquire MDVN, numerous names have come up as potential suitor. The Financial Times, citing people close to the talks, said that Pfizer has beaten its biggest rivals to win the auction for MDVN. Pfizer could pay a premium of around 33% over Medivation’s closing price of $67.16 on Friday.

Pfizer (PFE) announced that the FDA has approved its abuse-deterrent TROXYCA ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naltrexone hydrochloride) extended-release capsules for the management of pain severe enough to require around-the-clock long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

No patents to report.

The joint venture between Bayer (BAYRY) and CRISPR Therapeutics will operate out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most of the 80 employees at the site will be focused on R&D. Casebia Therapeutics, as the joint venture is known, was established in December 2015. According to the agreement, Bayer will contribute at least $300 million to develop CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to treat a range of disorders in the blood, cardiovascular area and eyes. Bayer also acquired a majority stake in CRISPR for $35 million.

No secondary offerings to report.

Thar Pharmaceuticals announced that it has filed for a $50 million IPO. Based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Thar is engaged in the development of oral therapies for complex regional pain syndrome. The company will list its shares on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol THAR.

No earnings to report.

Company (Ticker) Brokerage Action Recommendation Price Target My Price Target
Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS) William Blair Initiation Buy


Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) BTIG Research Initiation Neutral N/A N/A
Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) Credit Suisse Group Reieterate Buy


Allergan (AGN) Mizuho Upgrade/Price Target Raised From Neutral to Buy From $248 to $318 N/A
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR) William Blair Initiation Outperform N/A


Assembly Biosciences (ASMB) William Blair Upgrade From Market Perform to Outperform N/A N/A
Atara Biotherapeutics (ATRA) Citigroup Price Target Raised Sell From $8 to $10 N/A
BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reieterate Overweight N/A N/A
Celgene (CELG) JPMorgan Chase & Co. Reieterate Overweight



Auris Medical Holding (EARS) Needham & Company Price Target Raised Buy From $5 to $11 N/A
Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) Wells Fargo & Co. Reieterate Outperform N/A N/A
Juniper Pharmaceuticals (JNP) HC Wainwright Downgrade From Buy to Neutral


Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) BTIG Research Initiation Neutral N/A


Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) Piper Jaffray Cos. Reieterate Neutral N/A N/A
Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX) Maxim Group Reieterate Buy


Ophthotech Corp. (OPHT) BTIG Research Reieterate Buy


Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) Credit Suisse Group Price Target Cut Neutral From $30 to $25


Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) Morgan Stanley Price Target Cut Overweight From $61 to $28


Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) Citigroup Downgrade/Price Target Cut From Buy to Neutral From $40 to $24


Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (RPTP) Cowen and Company Reieterate Buy


Tracon Pharmaceuticals (TCON) BTIG Research Initiation Buy


Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) RBC Capital Markets Price Target Set Hold


Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) Morgan Stanley Reieterate Positive N/A N/A
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) Piper Jaffray Cos. Price Target Set Sell


vTv Therapeutics (VTVT) Canaccord Genuity Reieterate Buy


Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) BTIG Research Initiation Buy



No insider buys to report.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (AMPH)- Richard K. Prins, Director, sold 3,086 shares at $19.62. Prins still owns 26,000 shares of AMPH. Diane G. Gerst, EVP QA & Regulatory Affairs, sold 24,046 shares at $19.28. Gerst still owns 29,985 shares of AMPH.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) is expected to announce the hiring of Paul Herendeen as its new CFO. Zoetis (ZTS) confirmed that Herendeen has stepped down as its CFO to accept the position of CFO at another public company.

NYSE- Valeant Phamraceuticals International (VRX) shares were among the major movers on the NYSE. The stock closed 1.54% lower.

NASDAQ- Mirna Therapeutics (MIRN) shares were among the major movers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 11.92% higher. Corium International (CORI) ended the day 11.71% higher. TRACON Pharmaceuticals (TCON) ended the day 9.03% higher. Aeglea BioTherapeutics (AGLE) shares were among the major losers on the NASDAQ. The stock closed 12.24% lower. Forward Pharma (FWP) ended the day 8.58% lower. Anthera Pharmaceuticals (ANTH) ended the day 7.40% lower.

NYSEMKT- Provectus Biopharmaceuticals (PVCT) shares were among the major movers on the NYSEMKT. The stock closed 9.60% lower.

OTC- Amarantus Bioscience Holdings (AMBS) shares were among the major movers on the OTC market. The stock closed 16.43% lower.

Company (Ticker) Short Interest as a % of Float % Change Days to Cover
Qiagen (QGEN)




Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (RNN)




Radius Health (RDUS)




Raptor Pharmaceuticals (RPTP)




Recro Pharma (REPH)




Redhill Biopharma (RDHL) -



Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)








Regulus Therapeutics (RGLS)




Relypsa (RLYP)