Healthcare Sector Review: Bristol-Myers Squibb Warning, NuVasive’s Injunction Update

NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA): A hearing on Medtronic’s (NYSE:MDT) petition for an injunction against NuVasive (NASDAQ:NUVA) is slated to be held tomorrow, January 26. Medtronic is seeking to prevent NuVasive from making or selling medical devices for spinal surgery which were found by a jury to have infringed on Medtronic’s patents. However, in a note to investors, Leerink Swann said that Medtronic’s chances of obtaining an injunction are low. After speaking with a patent attorney specialist, Leerink Swann quotes the attorney as saying that Medtronic must meet a relatively high standard in order to obtain an injunction. Furthermore, the judge must determine whether issuing the injunction would harm the public, the attorney added, according to the firm. The judge may wait several weeks or months before making a decision on the issue, and Nuvasive is likely to appeal the jury’s decision against it in the patent case, said Leerink, adding that it doesn’t expect a final decision until at least 2013. Leerink believes that NuVasive’s risk/reward ratio is favorable and maintains an Outperform rating on the stock.

The shares closed at $16.25, up $2.55, or 18.61%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $686.47 million.

Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ:RGEN): Ronald Chez, holder of a 9.2% stake in Repligen, in a letter to the company, said, “In previous months, I have asked you to consider retaining an investment banker to provide objective, dispassionate commentary dealing with strategic alternatives that the entire Board should evaluate. I have provided you with the names of bankers who have experience and knowledge relevant to Repligen, and nothing has happened to the best of my knowledge.”

The shares closed at $3.89, up $0.38, or 10.83%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $119.48 million.

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) reaffirms FY12 revenue $183M-$192M vs. consensus $184.01M.

The shares closed at $18.54, down $1.27, or 6.41%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $764.65 million.

XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNPT) disclosed that it provided notice of dispute and notice of breach and termination to GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) pursuant to the Commercialization Agreement, dated November 7, 2010, between the company and GSK. XenoPort and GSK entered into the agreement to develop and commercialize Horizant tablets, which was approved in the United States in April 2011 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome in adults. The company provided notice to GSK that, among other matters, GSK materially breached its contractual obligation to use commercially reasonable efforts to maximize the sales of Horizant in an expeditious manner and achieve the sales milestones set forth in the agreement. The aggregate clinical and regulatory milestone payments that the company is eligible to receive are $312.5M, XenoPort said.

The shares closed at $4.18, down $0.17, or 3.91%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $148.18 million.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): Despite a warning from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), doctors continue to inject Kenalog, a steroid, in a way the company says they shouldn’t, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Some patients have reportedly died or become paralyzed after receiving steroidal shots. Kenalog, used for neck and back pain, and Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) Depo-Medrol are the most frequently administered steroids in epidural injections.

The shares closed at $21.72, up $0.06, or 0.28%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $166.96 billion.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) forecasts specified items for the full-year 2012 of approximately $0.35 per share, primarily associated with acquisition integration and cost reduction initiatives. This forecast of specified items excludes one-time costs related to the planned separation of Abbott into two companies, which will be quantified at a later date. Including these specified items, projected earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, would be $4.60-$4.70 for 2012.

The shares closed at $55.23, down $0.75, or 1.34%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $86.04 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Pharmaceutical companies’ focus on developing treatments for rare diseases has caused the U.S. government to increase its spending on treatments and vaccines for more common diseases, according to the Associated Press.

The shares closed at $65.21, up $0.21, or 0.32%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $178.08 billion.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an updated label for Vytorin that includes results from the Study of Heart and Renal Protection. In Sharp, Vytorin 10/20 mg lowered LDL cholesterol in patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, and major vascular events were reduced in the treatment group compared to placebo. The trial therefore demonstrated that treatment with Vytorin 10/20 mg versus placebo reduced the risk for major vascular events in this CKD population. Because Sharp studied the combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe compared with placebo, it was not designed to assess the independent contributions of each drug to the observed effect; for this reason, the FDA did not approve a new indication for Vytorin or for Zetia and the study’s efficacy results have not been incorporated into the label for Zetia.

The shares closed at $38.68, down $0.1, or 0.26%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $117.89 billion.

Want news like this in real-time so you can get an edge? Click here for Wall St. Cheat Sheet Pro.