The Daily Biotech Pulse: Novartis Goes Shopping, Mixed Trial Results For Provention Bio, 4 Stocks To Debut

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on May 8)

  • Alcon AG ALC
  • BioSig Technologies Inc BSGM

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week lows on May 8)

  • Adamas Pharmaceuticals Inc ADMS
  • Aquestive Therapeutics Inc AQST(reacted to first-quarter results)
  • Arbutus Biopharma Corp ABUS
  • Flexion Therapeutics Inc FLXN
  • Opko Health Inc. OPK(reacted to Q1 results)
  • Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC OSMT
  • Retrophin Inc RTRX
  • Revance Therapeutics Inc RVNC
  • Sensus Healthcare Inc SRTS

Stock In Focus

Novartis to Buy Dry Eye Disease Drug From Takeda For $3.4B

Novartis AG NVS announced an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd TAK to acquire the assets associated with Xildra, chemically lifitefgrast ophthalmic solution, 5 percent worldwide for a $3.4 billion payment upfront and potential milestone payments up to $1.9 billion. Xildra is the only prescription treatment approved to treat both signs and symptoms of dry eye by inhibiting inflammation caused by the disease.
The company expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2019. The deal, according to Novartis, will bolster its front-of-the-eye portfolio and ophthalmic leadership.

Provention Bio's Ulcerative Colitis Drug Produces Mixed Results In Early-stage Trial

Provention Bio Inc PRVB announced topline results from the Phase 1b study dubbed PULSE study evaluating PRV-300 in patients with active, moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, which showed mixed results. The pipeline asset met the primary safety and efficacy endpoint over the 12-week study period and also demonstrated TLR3 target engagement and proof-of-mechanism.

However, the company said improvements in secondary and exploratory clinical, endoscopic, histologic and other UC-related efficacy endpoints were not observed, suggesting the improvements observed are downstream or circumstantial effects that do not contribute significantly to causal pathology.

The stock slipped 5.64 percent to $3.85 in after-hours trading.

Ampliphi Shareholders Ratify Merger With C3J Therapeutics

Ampliphi Biosciences Corp APHB said shareholders voted to approve its business combination with C3J Therapeutics at a special meeting of AmpliPhi Biosciences stockholders. The combined company is to be named as Armata Pharma, with the shares of the combined company expected to begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol ARMP.

The stock declined 16.79 percent to 33.2 cents in pre-market trading.

Avid Bioservices' CEO Quits

Avid Bioservices Inc CDMO announced the appointment of Richard Hancock as its interim president and CEO, effective immediately, following the resignation of Roger Lias as CEO as well as from the board.

The stock declined 3.37 percent to $4.30 in after-hours trading.

Intercept Pharma to Offer Shares & Notes

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc ICPT commenced an underwritten public offering to sell up to $200 million worth of shares. The company also intends to offer up to $200 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2026.

The stock fell 5.09 percent to $83.11 in after-hours trading.


CareDx Inc CDNA unexpectedly swung to a profit of 5 cents per share in its first quarter compared to a loss of 14 cents per share. Revenues also exceeded estimates. The company raised its 2019 revenue guidance.

The stock rallied 14.75 percent to $33.45 in after-hours trading.

Shockwave Medical Inc SWAV's first-quarter revenues exceeded expectations. The net loss per share narrowed from $5.63 to $1.37. The 2019 revenue guidance was also above the consensus.

The stock advanced 8.98 percent to $46.70 in after-hours trading.

Revance reported first-quarter revenues trailed expectations but the net loss was narrower than expected.

The stock slipped 8.12 percent to $11.65 in after-hours trading.

On The Radar

Clinical Trial Readouts

Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc CATB is due to present Phase 3 data for its Edasalonexent in Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the American Association of Neurology 2019 annual meeting.


Axcella said it has priced it 3.57 million IPO at $20, the low end of the estimated price range of $20-$22. The biotech company developing therapies and food to treat metabolic dysregulation in the liver is to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AXLA.

Cortexyme, which develops a novel therapy for Alzheimer's disease, priced its 4.412 million-share IPO at $17, at the midpoint of the estimated price range of $16-$18. The shares are to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CRTX.

Milestone Pharmaceuticals, a Phase 3 biotech developing therapies for heart rate conditions, said it has priced its upsized IPO of 5.5 million shares at $15 compared to the estimated price range of $14-$16. The shares are to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MIST.

NextCure priced its 5 million shares at $15, at the middle of the estimated price range of $14-$16. The shares of the cancer immunotherapy company will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NXTC.


Before the Market Open

Athenex Inc ATNX
Elanco Animal Health Inc ELAN
Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc ALDX
Akebia Therapeutics Inc AKBA
Albireo Pharma Inc ALBO
Atara Biotherapeutics Inc ATRA
Axsome Therapeutics Inc AXSM
Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc AMRX
Agenus Inc AGEN
Selecta Biosciences Inc SELB
Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc KPTI
Kala Pharmaceuticals Inc KALA
Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc IONS
OptiNose Inc OPTN
Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc RETA
Immunomedics, Inc. IMMU
Neos Therapeutics Inc NEOS
Mersana Therapeutics Inc MRSN
Obseva SA OBSV
Urogen Pharma Ltd URGN
Chimerix Inc CMRX
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc CRBP
Syneos Health Inc SYNH
Eloxx Pharmaceuticals Inc ELOX
Oxford Immunotec Global PLC OXFD
Endo International PLC ENDP

After the Close

Accelerate Diagnostics Inc AXDX
Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp ADMP
• Adamas Pharma
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc AMPH
Acceleron Pharma Inc XLRN
Calithera Biosciences Inc CALA
BioTime, Inc. BTX
Puma Biotechnology Inc PBYI
Coherus Biosciences Inc CHRS
Nevro Corp NVRO
Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated CORT
BioLife Solutions Inc BLFS
PDL BioPharma Inc PDLI
Kindred Biosciences Inc KIN
Pfenex Inc PFNX
Verastem Inc VSTM
Rockwell Medical Inc RMTI
ICU Medical, Incorporated ICUI
Opiant Pharmaceuticals Inc OPNT
Synlogic Inc SYBX
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc INO
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SPPI
Natera Inc NTRA
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NBY
Transenterix Inc TRXC
Xencor Inc XNCR
Melinta Therapeutics Inc MLNT
Viveve Medical Inc VIVE
Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC OSMT
Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc CRVS
CytomX Therapeutics Inc CTMX
HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc HTGM
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc DRNA
Chiasma Inc CHMA
Myokardia Inc MYOK
PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc PHAS
• Sensus Healthcare
FibroGen Inc FGEN
G1 Therapeutics Inc GTHX
Guardant Health Inc GH

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