A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...
Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) is down big during pre-market hours. Company is a late addition to the JPMorgan healthcare conference in San Francisco this week after Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) pulled out to focus on the FDA and the SPA for Vascepa in the 'Anchor' indication. Investors will key on what company officials have to say about future timelines for trials - the liver disease drug behind the price spike is still mid-stage - and will also concentrate on the potential safety concerns raised regarding increased 'bad' cholesterol in patients last week. For more on the Intercept chain of events, click HERE.
Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN)
, which made some noise
last year with Phase II Prophage results in brain treating brain cancer, announced
during the early hours on Monday a definitive agreement to acquire 4-Antibody AG, a privately-held European firm with a "technology platform for the rapid discovery and optimization of fully-human antibodies against a wide array of molecular targets of interest."
Shares were spinning modestly higher during pre-market as this acquisition boosts the long term value of the company, but this morning's spike may be more related to the general rally in the healthcare sector as a whole, and not necessarily related to this news. Agenus also announced
Monday morning the appointment of a new Chief Scientific Officer, a newly-created position.
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (NYSE: IMUC)
, following an eight percent price spike on Friday, issued an update
on Monday morning discussing corporate strategies and milestones expected during 2014. Of note, plans are in place to push forward with ICT-107, IMUC's immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine that did not meet expectations when a Phase II trial concluded last year. Shares dropped after the news hit, but some investors expect a rebound this year. In addition to the focus on ICT-107, the company's most advanced product, IMUC will also move forward with ICT-140 and ICT-121. An ICT-140 Phase II trial should begin enrolling over the near term. Due to last year's setback, IMUC should more be looked at now as earlier-stage play.
Ampio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT: AMPE)
jumped by fifteen percent on Friday, also most likely due to the increased attention on the health care sector this week. On Monday morning the company announced
that the first patients were treated in a Phase III trial for Ampion in the treatment of osteoarthritis of-the-knee (OAK). Ampio has multiple ongoing pipeline
paths based on repositioning already approved products in the treatment of different indications and the rapid development of events has led to numerous instances of price volatility that has benefited traders - and a near share price triple in just over a year.
BioDelivery Sciences (NASDAQ: BDSI)
issued a company and pipeline update
on Monday morning, highlighting the numerous key milestones expected for the duration of the year. BDSI has been moving higher early on in 2014 based on these milestone events and shares could be ripe for accumulation moving forward. Of note, multiple Phase III trials for BEMA Bup will be coming to a close, triggering a ten million dollar milestone payment from partner Endo, and a 7 June PDUFA date could - if it turns out in favor of BDSI - put BUNAVAIL for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence on the market later this year. For more on BioDelivery's potential, click HERE
Galena Biopharma (NASDAQ: GALE)
In another edition of M&A Monday, Galena Biopharma also announced
a deal, this one to acquire Mills Pharmaceuticals. GALE acquires the rights to GALE-401 with this agreement and provides insurance and depth to its clinical pipeline. Shares were up roughly six percent in the pre-market hours, but again - that could be more the result of the interest on biotechnology this week than the immediate relevance of this announcement.
Celsius Holdings (OTC: CELH)
announced on Monday morning that the company has started production of its calorie-burning beverage by the same name - Celsius - in Dusseldorf, Germany. Having failed to initially catch on as planned in the United States, the beverage has been picking up steam overseas. The aim of this new European production center is to reduce shipping and freight costs in meeting the growing product demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Key strides have been made in 2013 and trading volume has increased as well - leading to a share price triple at one point - positioning 2014 as a year of potential rebound. Monday's release also contained information that additional production sites are expected for Brazil and China.
Capstone Turbine Corporation (NASDAQ: CPST)
, fresh off a solid week
on banking multiple orders for its low-emission microturbine units, was at it again at this week's open as an order was announced
from an Italian distributor for units destined for food manufacturing plants. The pace of new orders and re-orders is encouraging for those banking on this company hitting profitability over the next couple of years, but the days of spikes and pullbacks are likely not over yet. Look for more sustained rallies once profitability is within close reach.
Disclosure: Long CELH.