Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) shares were downgraded by analysts at Crédit Agricole from Buy to Sell.
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) announced on Friday the initiation of dosing in a Phase 1 multiple dose clinical trial of APD811, which is a novel oral drug candidate discovered by Arena that targets the prostacyclin receptor for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled dose titration trial is planned to enroll up to 30 healthy adult volunteers and will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of multiple-ascending doses of APD811, along with the optimal titration timetable. Prior to this, the firm tested single-ascending doses of APD811 in the initial Phase 1 clinical trial.
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Vivus (NYSE:VVUS) saw FDA approval in July of its potential star performer anti-obesity drug, Qsymia. The drug was okayed just weeks after Belviq by Arena Pharmaceutical was, but the former demonstrated higher efficacy in terms of weight loss relative to Belviq in late-stage trials and beat Belviq to pharmacy shelves, giving it first-in-class status. As regards Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX) whose anti-obesity candidate Contrave which is still at least two, maybe three years away from market debut, assuming FDA approval, Vivus has no worries at the present time.
NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:NPSP) shares move up as investors perceieve potential approval of a drug for a condition that shuts down the ability to absorb nutrients or fluids. Investors bid the stock upwards following the release of briefing documents prior to the meeting of an important government panel next week, which is expected to support the approval of the drug Gattex.