Healthcare Biz Recap: Onyx Receives FDA APPROVAL, Novartis STICKS with Russia

Shares of Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) fall more than 10 percent Thursday, as the firm touches the third rail: The European Commission has requested additional information concerning widening authorization of the firm’s multiple myeloma treatment Revlimid to treat newly diagnosed patients, and as a maintenance therapy. The move prompted Celgene to retract the submission, and it now must resubmit with the required data; the company is also ‘re-evaluating’ a similar FDA version. However, Bernstein later came to the rescue, remarking that the shares look attractive at the current prices, and restates its Outperform. Moreover, Bernstein expects that Revlimid will eventually gain E.U approval, and that the shares will recover.

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Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ONXX) go through the roof Thursday following the FDA panel vote in favor of the company’s Kyprolis drug for multiple myeloma, on Wednesday, with final full FDA approval now expected on July 27th. Accordingly, Baird upgrades the shares from Neutral to Outperform; Deutsche Bank initiates with a Buy; and Brean Murray upgrades them to Buy.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) says that it’s in Russia for the long haul, in the face of capital fright from the country as worries mount concerning its political instability. CEO Joe Jimenez comments to CNBC that the huge opportunities available in Russia are worth the risks, but that, “It’s going to bumpy at times. If you fundamentally believe this is a good market for healthcare and pharmaceuticals you have to be here”.

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) shares sell off Thursday on the news of the company’s proposed $6.7 billion purchase of Alliance Boots in Europe, but Bill Smead at Smead Capital remarked that the gambit will seem “pretty darn smart” as The Continent recovers. Smead added that with everyone “afraid to take risks, this may be the first step in establishing global drugstore chains”.

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