Healthcare Biz Review: Gilead Sciences Earnings, Discovery Laboratories FDA Registration

AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) announced new restructuring initiatives designed to improve productivity and strengthen the company’s commercial, operations and research and development capabilities.This new program is expected to deliver an estimated $1.6B in annual benefits by the end of 2014, at an estimated total cost of $2.1B. AstraZeneca expects that this restructuring program will affect approximately 7,300 positions. Final estimates for program costs, benefits and headcount impact in all areas of the business are subject to completion of applicable consultation processes.

AZN shares recently traded at $47.21, down $1.37, or 2.82%.

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Discovery Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:DSCO) announced AFECTAIR is now registered with the U.S. FDA and is cleared to be marketed in the United States. AFECTAIR is a proprietary patient interface technology that simplifies delivery of aerosolized medications to patients requiring ventilator support. It is estimated that AFECTAIR represents a potential revenue opportunity of approximately $50M-$75M for Discovery Labs.

DSCO shares recently traded at $2.55, up $0.32, or 14.35%.

CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI): Effective January 1, 2012, Cigna is required to adopt new accounting rules for costs related to the acquisition or renewal of insurance contracts. This adoption will reduce full year 2011 earnings by approximately $70M on a retrospective basis and is expected to have a similar impact in 2012.

CI shares recently traded at $44.13, down $1.55, or 3.39%.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE:EW): The FDA and representatives from the medical device industry have reached an agreement in principle on proposed recommendations for the third reauthorization of a medical device user fee program. The recommendations would authorize the FDA to collect $595M in user fees over five years, plus adjustments for inflation. Details of the agreement, such as the fee structure, are expected to be finalized soon.

EW shares recently traded at $80.67, down $1.02, or 1.25%.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD): Net income for Gilead Sciences Inc. rose to $665.1 million (87 cents per share) vs. $629.4 million (76 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 5.7% from the year earlier quarter.

GILD shares recently traded at $49.31, up $0.16, or 0.33%.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Damien Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com