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The Daily Biotech Pulse: Management Change At Merck, Jazz Buyback, Arrowhead Earnings

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 Dec. 10)

  • Homology Medicines Inc (NASDAQ: FIXX)
  • OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ: MLND)

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week lows on Dec. 10)

  • Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADXS)
  • Aptevo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: APVO)
  • Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: AVDL)
  • BENITEC BIOPHAR/S ADR (NASDAQ: BNTC)
  • Biocept Inc (NASDAQ: BIOC)
  • BIOLASE Inc (NASDAQ: BIOL)
  • Biomerica, Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRA)
  • Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGIX)
  • Capricor Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CAPR)
  • Cellectis SA (NASDAQ: CLLS)
  • Citius Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CTXR)
  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT)
  • CTI BioPharma Corp (NASDAQ: CTIC)
  • Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS)
  • Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: DFFN)
  • DURECT Corporation (NASDAQ: DRRX)
  • Edge Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: EDGE)
  • Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELGX)
  • Evogene Ltd (NASDAQ: EVGN)
  • Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN)
  • Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc (NASDAQ: ITCI)
  • Jaguar Health Inc (NASDAQ: JAGX)
  • MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ: MGNX)
  • Melinta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MLNT)
  • Midatech Pharma PLC-ADR (NASDAQ: MTP)
  • MOTIF BIO PLC/S ADR (NASDAQ: MTFB)
  • Nantkwest Inc (NASDAQ: NK)
  • Mylan NV (NASDAQ: MYL)
  • Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUR)
  • Neurotrope Inc (NASDAQ: NTRP)
  • Novan Inc (NASDAQ: NOVN)
  • Novus Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: NVUS)
  • Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY)
  • Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ: OPHT)
  • Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PTX)
  • Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTI)
  • Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNX)
  • Psychemedics Corp. (NASDAQ: PMD)
  • REALM THERAPEUTICS ADR (NASDAQ: RLM)
  • Reshape Lifesciences Inc (NASDAQ: RSLS)
  • Savara Inc (NASDAQ: SVRA)
  • Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS)
  • Tenax Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TENX)
  • Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TARO)
  • Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp (NASDAQ: TNXP)
  • Trinity Biotech plc (NASDAQ: TRIB)
  • Unum Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: UMRX)
  • Urovant Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ: UROV)

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

Stocks In Focus Merck's President Of Global Human Health To Depart

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) announced the departure of Adam Schechter from the post of president of Global Human Health, effective Dec. 31 but he will continue on an advisory capacity to the CEO. The company also said it has created two new Executive Committee roles, promoting Frank Clyburn as Chief Commercial Officer and Michael Nally as Chief Marketing Officer.

The stock is up 1.01 percent to $78.20 in pre-market trading.

Novartis' Sandoz Unit Says FDA Clears Mobile Medical App For Opioid Use Disorder

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS)'s Sandoz generic unit and partner Pear Therapeutics announced FDA clearance for their reSET-O, which is intended to increase retention of patients with Opioid Use Disorder, or OUD, in outpatient treatment by providing cognitive behavioral therapy, as an adjunct to outpatient treatment that includes transmucosal buprenorphine and contingency management.

ReSET-O is indicated as a prescription-only mobile medical application.

Sandoz said it would launch reSET-O in the U.S. in Q4.

Ra Pharma to Offer $100M Worth of Shares

Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: RARX) said it intends to offer $100 million of its common stock in an underwritten public offering.

Ra Pharma said it would use the net proceeds from the offering, in addition to its existing cash resources, to fund the clinical development of zilucoplan, among other things.

The stock, which rallied over 7 percent in Monday's regular session on the back of the release of positive clinical trials, fell 3.46 percent to $17.01 in after-hours trading.

Enzo Biochem Q1 Revenues Decline, Loss Widens

Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ) reported a decline in its Q1 revenues from $26.9 million a year-ago to $21.3 million, reflecting reduced insurance reimbursement payments and mix of testing. The loss widened from 1 cent per share to 13 cents per share, while analysts expected a loss of 11 cent per share.

The shares slid 0.61 percent to $3.25 in after-hours trading.

Soligenix to Get $611k Tax Credit From State Government

Soligenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNGX), a rare disease drug company, said it has received preliminary approval for a tax credit amounting to $611,000 in net proceeds by the year end, from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority's New Jersey Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer program.

This program enables tech and biotech businesses to sell their unused net operating loss carryovers and unused R&D tax credits to unaffiliated, profitable corporate taxpayers in the state of New Jersey, thus enabling businesses to turn their tax losses and credits into cash proceeds for funding additional R&D, equipment and facilities purchases or cover other allowable expenditures.

Biohaven to Offer 3M Shares

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd (NYSE: BHVN) said it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 3 million shares. All shares in the offering are to be sold by the company.

The stock declined 3.63 percent to $38.99 in after-hours trading.

Constellation Pharma's Prostate Cancer Drug Found Effective In Early-stage Study

Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNST) said it has begun dosing in a randomized Phase 1b/2 study dubbed ProSTAR, of CPI-1205/enzalutamide combo versus enzalutamide monotherapy for treating metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
The company said preliminary Phase 1b results show that CPI-1205 was well tolerated, with a robust pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile and clinical activity in both arms.

The stock rose 1.21 percent to $5.87 in after-hours session.

Mirati Appoints former Merck KGaA Executive to Board

Mirati Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MRTX) said it has appointed Maya Martinez-Davis to its board, effective immediately. Martinez-Davis is a former executive at German pharma giant Merck KGaA.

The stock rose 3.58 percent to $42 in after-hours trading.

Jazz Announces Incremental $400M Stock Buyback Program

Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: JAZZ) said its board has authorized a $400 million increase to its stock buyback program, which is in addition to the $620 million authorization it had announced previously.

On The Radar Earnings

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARWR) (after the market close)

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