Healthcare Sector Review: J&J Markets Hip Overseas, FDA Approves Bio-T-Gel

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) announced favorable preclinical results for BCX5191, a novel adenine nucleoside analog targeting viral RNA polymerase for the potential treatment of hepatitis C. BioCryst has successfully completed in vitro and in vivo studies in which BCX5191 exhibited potent and selective pan-genotypic antiviral activity against the hepatitis C polymerase enzyme. BCX5191 showed no inhibition of human RNA polymerase and no evidence of toxicity from standard in vitro screens.

The shares closed at $4.11, up $0.44, or 11.99%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $185.83 million.

Syneron Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ:ELOS) announced today the publication of results from a clinical study evaluating the skin lightening efficacy and safety of its elure Advanced Skin Lightening product (lignin peroxidase cream) compared with 2% hydroquinone cream. The study, which demonstrated significantly faster and superior skin lightening results with elure, was published in the December 2011 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology is the official journal of The International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology (IACD).

The shares closed at $11.54, up $0.62, or 5.68%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $404.82 million.

Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY): Excluding Jakafi net product revenues and any potential milestones received from collaborations, the Company expects revenues of $67M from the amortization of the upfront payments received under the Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and Lilly (NYSE:LLY) collaborative agreements. The Company expects that 2012 research and development expenses will be in the range of $215M-$225M, including a non-cash expense of approximately $25M-$28M related to the impact of expensing employee stock options.

The shares closed at $17.26, down $1.01, or 5.53%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $2.18 billion.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review the New Drug Application for tafamidis meglumine, the company’s investigational, novel, oral therapy for the treatment of Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy, a rare, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 8,000 patients worldwide. The FDA has granted the tafamidis NDA a priority-review designation and has provided an anticipated Prescription Drug User Fee Act action date in June. The European Commission approved tafamidis in November 2011.

The shares closed at $21.11, down $0.22, or 1.03%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $162.27 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is continuing to market its artificial hip overseas after the FDA refused to allow the product to be sold in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

The shares closed at $64.65, up $0.04, or 0.06%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $176.55 billion.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced the formation of a new joint venture with Supera Farma Laboratorios, a Brazilian pharmaceutical company co-owned by Cristalia and Eurofarma. The new JV will market, distribute and sell a portfolio of innovative pharmaceutical and branded generic products from Merck, Cristalia and Eurofarma solely in the Brazilian retail sector.

The shares closed at $38.02, down $0.19, or 0.5%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $115.88 billion.

Teva Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA): BioSante Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BPAX) announced that the U.S. FDA has approved Bio-T-Gel, which is licensed by BioSante to Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA). Bio-T-Gel is a testosterone gel for the treatment of male hypogonadism or low testosterone levels. Male hypogonadism is generally characterized by impotence, a lack of sex drive, muscle weakness and osteoporosis. Bio-T-Gel was initially developed by BioSante, and then it was licensed to Teva for late stage clinical development. Teva is responsible for all Bio-T-Gel regulatory and marketing activities. BioSante will receive royalties and may receive certain milestone payments upon commercialization of Bio-T-Gel. The current U.S. market for male testosterone products is estimated at over $1.6B.

The shares closed at $45.04, up $1.52, or 3.49%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $39.86 billion.

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