Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) advances after announcing initial results from a study of one of its hepatitis C virus, or HCV, combination drugs showed 99 percent of those HCV patients who have never been treated but who took the medication, showed sustained virological response. Additionally, 93 percent of patients in the Phase IIb study who were previously unsuccessfully treated for HCV showed sustained virological response, according to Abbott. In a note to investors earlier in the day, Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote that the study’s results were impressive. If an upcoming Phase III study shows similar data, Biegelsen believes that Wells’ prior forecast of $600 million in global sales for the company’s HCV treatments may be conservative. The analyst keeps its Market Perform rating on the stock. In late morning trading, Abbott saw an increase of $2.06, or 2.97 percent, to $71.34. Gilead, which is also developing HCV drugs, fell following Abbott’s released data, but quickly recovered the majority of its losses and is now slightly positive on the day. The shares closed at $72.05, up $2.77 or 4% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $51.53 to $71.91.
Aegerion Pharmaceuti (NASDAQ:AEGR): In briefing documents released before an advisory committee meeting scheduled fomr October 17, an FDA panel said, “In considering a risk management program for lomitapide, FDA must keep in mind that the HoFH patient population currently has limited therapeutic options. On the other hand, the risk-benefit profile of lomitapide in the larger patient population with hypercholesterolemia has not been established, and there is reason for concern should this larger patient population be exposed to lomitapide. The REMS proposed above would support appropriate use of lomitapide, allowing it to be approved for use in the targeted patient population, a patient population with life threatening illness and limited therapeutic options, while protecting the larger hypercholesterolemic patient population. We believe that this proposed REMS is needed to ensure that the benefits of lomitapide outweigh the potential risk of serious liver injury.” Aegerion’s (NASDAQ:AEGR) Lomitapide is being evaluated because of its ability to reduce low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol levels in patients with Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH. The company’s shares have responded favorably to the FDA panel’s comments, rising 13 percent, or $2.04, to $18.00 in pre-market trading. The shares closed at $17.46, up $1.5 or 9.4% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $11.75 to $17.72.
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Conagra Foods (NYSE:CAG) predicts that its FY13 operating cash flow will exceed $1.2 billion and long-term annual EPS growth, adjusted for items impacting comparability, of 6 to 8 percent. The shares closed at $28.41, up $0.47 or 1.68% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.64 to $28.16.
Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR): Softbank’s $20.1 billion stake in Sprint (NYSE:S) will not require Sprint to take any action regarding Clearwire other than those set forth in agreements Sprint previously entered into with Clearwire and particular shareholders. The shares closed at $2.69, up $0.37 or 15.95% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $0.83 to $2.64.
Cyclacel Pharmaceuti (NASDAQ:CYCC) is to discuss recent data from an ongoing, multicenter, Phase 2 randomized trial of oral sapacitabine capsules, which is the company’s top product candidate, in older patients suffering with intermediate-2 or high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, after treatment failure of front-line hypomethylating agents, like azacitidine, or Vidaza, and/or decitabine, or Dacogen. The data were recently discussed at two separate sessions at The Eighth Annual Hematologic Malignancies 2012 Conference that was held on Oct 10-14, in Houston, Texas. Median overall survival to date for all 63 patients in the Phase 2 study is 252 days or about 8 months. Median overall survival for 41 out of 63 patients with 10 percent or more blasts in their bone marrow is 274 days or about 9 months. The shares closed at $6.70, up $1.23 or 22.49% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $2.73 to $6.23.