Healthcare Sector Review: Nektar Sells Royalties to Royalty Pharma, Galapagos Abbott Deal

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR): Nektar Therapeutics announced that it agreed to sell to Royalty Pharma its royalties on future sales of CIMZIA, under Nektar’s agreement with UCB Pharma, and MIRCERA, under Nektar’s agreement with Roche. In consideration for the sale, Royalty Pharma will pay Nektar an aggregate cash payment of $124.0M. Nektar intends to use the net proceeds of the transaction towards the repayment of its $215M of convertible debt. For the twelve month period ended December 31, 2011, Nektar recognized $8.3M in aggregate royalties from net sales of CIMZIA and MIRCERA.

The shares closed at $7.17, up $0.42, or 6.22%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $820.44 million.

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS): VIVUS said last night when reporting earnings that during Q1 it received a 180-Day LOI from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use for the Qnexa Marketing Authorization Application for the European Union. The 180-day LOI contained requests for additional information including risk minimization activities to address various issues relating to cardiovascular, neuropsychiatric and potential teratogenic effects of Qnexa. The company said it requested and have been granted a two-month extension to respond. VIVUS anticipates responding to the 180-day LOI in Q2.

The shares closed at $22.55, up $1.29, or 6.07%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $2.00 billion.

ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ:ISIS): Reports Q4 revenue $32.4M, consensus $30.3M

The shares closed at $9.11, up $0.5, or 5.81%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $908.53 million.

Amarin Corp. plc (NASDAQ:AMRN): The company said, “Amarin is continuing to execute on its plan to protect the proprietary position of AMR101 in its intended indications. Amarin’s plan consists of seeking robust patent protection and regulatory exclusivity, maintaining trade secrets and taking advantage of manufacturing barriers to entry, with the goal of protecting the commercial potential of AMR101 until at least 2030. Amarin had previously disclosed that it is prosecuting a total 16 U.S. patent applications across 11 patent families. The actual number of patent applications and patent families has since grown due to the splitting of previously filed applications among multiple continuations and the filing of new applications seeking to cover what the company believes is additional patentable subject matter based on AMR101 clinical results.”

The shares closed at $7.75, down $0.98, or 11.23%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $1.05 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK): Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) could lure takeover interest from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck (NYSE:MRK), and Bristol-Meyers (NYSE:BMY), reports Bloomberg, citing Rodman & Renshaw. JMP Securities said the FDA’s belief that the benefits of the company’s Qnexa pill outweigh the risks may attract interest from Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) as well.

JNJ shares closed at $65.08, down $0.1, or 0.15%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $178.65 billion. MRK shares closed at $38.17, down $0.21, or 0.55%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $116.34 billion.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Belgian drug firm Galapagos signed a deal valued at up to $1.35B with Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) for the development and production of an oral drug to treat arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, Reuters reports.

The shares closed at $56.61, down $0.43, or 0.75%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $89.01 billion.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Stella Mariz at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at