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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Amgen Slashes Cholesterol Drug Device Prices By 60%, Takeda Completes Shire Purchase

Shanthi Rexaline

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peak

(Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week highs on Jan. 7)

  • Axsome Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AXSM) (reported positive results for a mid-stage study of drug to treat major depressive disorder)
  • China SXT Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SXTC)
  • Loxo Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: LOXO) (agreed to be acquired by Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE: LLY)

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week lows on Jan. 7)

  • AxoGen, Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: AXGN)(fell in reaction to preliminary Q4 results)
  • Diplomat Pharmacy Inc (NYSE: DPLO) (lowered FY18 revenue guidance and issued a not-so-encouraging FY19 guidance)
  • La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ: LJPC)
  • Scpharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SCPH)

Stocks In Focus Meridian Bioscience Expects Below-consensus Revenues For Q1

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) expects a 2 percent year-over-year drop in Q'19 revenues to $51 million to $51.5 million, weighed down by weakness in Diagnostics segment. This is below the $53.5 billion consensus estimate.

The stock shed 6.4 percent to $15.50 in after-hours trading.

Illumina Announces Positive Guidance At JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Presenting at the JPMorgan Health Care conference, Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN)'s CEO Francis deSouza said 2018 revenues grew 21 percent year-over-year to $3.3 billion, with Q4 revenues at $865 million, 11 percent growth. The results compared favorably to estimates. The company expects 2019 revenues to be more backend loaded, with revenues estimated at $3.76 billion to $3.8 billion and non-GAAP EPS at $6.50-$6.60. The consensus estimates call for revenues of $3.81 billion and non-GAAP EPS of $6.37.

The stock fell 5.81 percent to $290 in after-hours trading.

Novartis Drug Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation, Launches Therapy For Opioid Use Disorder in U.S.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) said the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for its crizanlizumab, codenamed SEG101, an investigational therapy for preventing vaso-occlusive crises in patients of all genotypes with sickle cell disease.

Separately, the company's Sandoz unit and partner Pear Therapeutics announced the U.S. commercial launch of reSET-O, a FDA-approved12-week cognitive therapy used to treat patients with Opioid Use Disorder, in additional to outpatient treatment.

See Also: The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, Clinical Trials

Novocure Pre-Announces Slight Revenue Shortfall

Novocure Ltd (NASDAQ: NVCR) pre-announced preliminary fourth quarter and full-year results, expecting net revenues of $69.6 million, up 30 percent year-over-year, and full-year net revenues of $248 million, 40 percent higher than last year. Analysts estimate revenues of $70.47 million for Q4 and $248.89 million for FY18.

The company is scheduled to release final results before the market open Feb. 28.

The stock added 1.02 percent to $35.54 in after-hours trading.

Spero Strikes Agreement For Antibacterial Drug In China, Korea & Southeast Asia

Spero Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SPRO) announced a collaboration agreement with Everest Medicines to develop, manufacture and commercialize its investigational antibacterial candidate SPR206 in Greater China, South Korea and certain Southeast Asian countries, along with an exclusive option to rights to another antibiotic candidate SPR741 in the same territory.

Both SPR206 and SPR741 are intravenously administered treatment options being developed for gram-negative bacterial infections. Spero stands to receive $2 million in upfront payment and up to $59.5 million in potential milestone payments, while also being eligible for high single-digit to low double-digit royalties on potential sales of SPR206. It will also receive a $1 million upfront fee for its exclusive 12-month option to rights to SPR741.

The stock gained 1.43 percent to $7.79 in after-hours trading.

Takeda Completes Acquisition of Shire

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (NYSE: TAK) announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG).

"We are also pleased to have completed the acquisition several months earlier than expected, which was enabled through the hard work of our respective organizations and the smooth receipt of regulatory clearances," said Christophe Weber, CEO of Takeda.

The combined company boasts of annual revenues exceeding $30 billion, primarily from oncology, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, rare diseases and PDT franchises, Takeda said.

Takeda shares advanced 0.91 percent to $18.75 in after-hours trading.

Amgen Slashes Repatha Devices By About 60 Percent

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) announced a 60-percent price cut for all Repatha device options such as pre-filled syringe and Pushtronex, which is an on-body infuser with prefilled cartridge. The company attributed the price cuts to its intention to reduce out-of-pocket costs for mainly Medicare patients. Repatha is Amgen's cholesterol drug for patients who are at risk for heart attacks and strokes.

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