4 Healthcare Stock Stories for Savvy Midweek Investment

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PPHM): Closing price $1.38

On Wednesday, the firm highlighted data presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Data was presented this week from preclinical studies examinging the immune-stimulating mechanism of action of Peregrine’s lead phosphatidylserine PS-targeting oncology clinical candidate bavituximab and the anti-tumor and imaging potential of other PS-targeting molecules. Bavituximab is presently being studied in a number of oncology clinical trials including the lead indication of second-line non-small cell lung cancer, which is expected to advance into a pivotal Phase III trial later in 2013.

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PPHM

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): Closing price $46.85

Merck reported that its New Drug Application for an investigational, tablet formulation of the company’s antifungal agent, Noxafil (posaconazole), has been accepted for review by the FDA. Merck currently markets Noxafil Oral Suspension for prophylaxis of invasive Aspergillus and Candida infections in patients 13 years of age and older, who are at high risk of developing these infections because of  being severely immunocompromised, likes patients who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplants and have graft-versus-host disease, or patients  suffering from cancers of the blood who are experiencing prolonged low white blood cell counts (neutropenia) resulting from chemotherapy.

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Pfizer (NYSE:PFE): Closing price $29.94

Pfizer’s investigational compound palbociclib has received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for the potential treatment of patients sufering from breast cancer, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Palbociclib, or PD-0332991, is an oral and selective inhibitor of cyclin dependent kinases 4 and 6. Breakthrough therapy designation should expedite the development and review of a potential new drug if it is meant to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the medication might show substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints.

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Aeterna Zentaris (NASDAQ: AEZS): Closing price $1.89

The firm on Wednesday reached a co-development and profit sharing agreement with Ergomed Clinical Research for AEZS-108 in endometrial cancer. Ergomed was chosen as the contract clinical development organization to run the multicenter, multinational, randomized Phase 3 trial with AEZS-108 in endometrial cancer. Through the terms, Ergomed will assume 30 percent (up to $10 million) of the clinical and regulatory costs for the Phase 3 trial with AEZS-108 in endometrial cancer, which are estimated at about $30 million over the lifetime of the study. Ergomed will receive its return-on-investment based on an agreed single digit percentage of any net income received by Aeterna Zentaris for AEZS-108 in this indication, up to a specified maximum amount.

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AEZS

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