Healthcare Sector Review: Walgreen and BioScrip, Compugen Cancer Treatment Shows Potential

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SCMP) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. announced that lubiprostone met the primary endpoint in a phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction, or OBD, in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain, excluding those taking methadone.

The shares closed at $5.39, up $1, or 22.78%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $225.75 million.

Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ:CGEN) announced results demonstrating the therapeutic potential of CGEN-15001T as a drug target for treatment of multiple cancers by means of monoclonal antibody (AMEX:MAB) therapy. These results indicate that CGEN-15001T is expressed on numerous types of cancer, such as carcinomas, sarcomas, melanoma and hematological cancers as well as on immune cells. These findings, together with previous results supporting its active immunomodulatory effect, strongly support CGEN-15001T’s potential as a powerful drug target for treatment of various solid and hematological cancers, an area of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

The shares closed at $6.12, up $0.82, or 15.47%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $207.56 million.

BioScrip Inc. (NASDAQ:BIOS) and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Walgreens would acquire certain assets of BioScrip’s community specialty pharmacies and centralized specialty and mail service pharmacy businesses and BioScrip would receive a total deal value of approximately $225M. This includes approximately $170M in cash at closing and retention by BioScrip of associated accounts receivable and working capital liabilities of approximately $55M, based on BioScrip’s balance sheet values at Dec. 31. Up to an additional $60M in purchase price may be payable based on events related directly or indirectly to Walgreens retention of certain business included in the transferred businesses.

The shares closed at $6.72, up $0.88, or 15.07%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $387.30 million.

Transcend Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRCR) reported revenue $32.9M vs. consensus $34.6M.

The shares closed at $20.94, down $4.26, or 16.9%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $223.79 million.

Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) reported Q4 EPS of 13c this morning, which beat consensus estimates of 8c, on revenue of $1.85B, which was less than the $1.91B that analysts had expected and 8% less than the company reported in 4Q10. Net income dropped to $107M from $236M in 4Q10, as demand for defribrillators and pacemakers continues to erode. On the earnings conference call, CEO Hank Kucheman cited weak CRM sales in Europe. On the positive side, Kucheman referenced the improving demographic for medical device makers and Boston Scientific’s diverse pipeline of new product launches. As far as guidance, the company noted clouded visibility and continued weakness in the CRM market, seeing FY12 EPS of 60c-70c and encouraged modeling the mid-point of that range. At mid-day, Boston Scientific shares were trading at $5.72, down 6.16%, while competitors Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) shares were flat and St. Jude (NYSE:STJ) were down less than a percent.

The shares closed at $5.84, down $0.25, or 4.11%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $8.65 billion.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) announced that its subsidiary Mylan Laboratories Ltd., formerly Matrix Laboratories Ltd, has received tentative approval from the U.S. FDA for its Abbreviated New Drug Application, or ANDA, for Atorvastatin Calcium Tablets, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg base. Atorvastatin Calcium is the generic equivalent to Pfizer’s Lipitor Tablets, indicated for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and hypercholesterolemia. Lipitor had U.S. sales of $8.2B for the twelve months ending Dec. 31, 2011, according to IMS Health.

The shares closed at $21.11, down $0.2, or 0.94%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $162.27 billion.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) announced that the FDA approved Janumet XR tablets, a new treatment for type 2 diabetes that combines sitagliptin, which is the active component of Januvia, with extended-release metformin. Janumet XR provides a convenient once-daily treatment option for healthcare providers and patients who need help to control their blood sugar.

The shares closed at $38.44, down $0.19, or 0.49%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $117.16 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): In the U.K., Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) prostate cancer medicine Zytig, discovered there and developed with funds from U.K. charities, is too expensive for the country’s National Health Service, reports Bloomberg. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said the NHS shouldn’t pay for the drug because its benefits don’t justify the cost even after J&J agreed to reduce the price.

The shares closed at $65.59, down $0.1, or 0.15%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $179.12 billion.

Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) also expects to get approval in the European Union for Latisse later this year. It also expects to launch the larger overactive bladder indication in 2013.

The shares closed at $84.84, down $2.45, or 2.81%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $26.09 billion.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG): 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.

The shares closed at $483.00, up $20.06, or 4.33%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $18.83 billion.

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