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The Daily Biotech Pulse: AbbVie, Allergan Agree On Divestments, Obalon Stops Obesity Balloon Sale, COVID-19 Updates

The Daily Biotech Pulse: AbbVie, Allergan Agree On Divestments, Obalon Stops Obesity Balloon Sale, COVID-19 Updates

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 March 17)

  • BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX)
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN) ( Updated on its COVID-19 treatment development plan)

Down In The Dumps

(Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week lows on March 17)

  • Abeona Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ABEO)
  • AC Immune SA (NASDAQ: ACIU)
  • Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST)
  • Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: AXDX)
  • Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ACOR)
  • Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ: ADM)
  • ADMA Biologics Inc (NASDAQ: ADMA)
  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AERI)
  • Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN)
  • Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT)
  • Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ALDX)
  • Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ: ALKS)
  • Allogene Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ALLO)
  • Alpine Immune Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: ALPN)
  • AngioDynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGO)
  • Anika Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ANIK)
  • Antares Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ATRS)
  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: APLS)
  • Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (NASDAQ: AGTC)
  • Aptinyx Inc (NASDAQ: APTX)
  • Aridis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARDS)
  • Artelo Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: ARTL)
  • Assertio Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ASRT)
  • Atara Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ATRA)
  • Athenex Inc (NASDAQ: ATNX)
  • Avrobio Inc (NASDAQ: AVRO)
  • Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: AXNX
  • Bio-Path Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BPTH)
  • Biocept Inc (NASDAQ: BIOC)
  • BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI)
  • Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd (NYSE: BHVN)
  • Biomerica, Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRA)
  • BioTelemetry Inc (NASDAQ: BEAT)
  • bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE)
  • BridgeBio Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: BBIO)
  • CareDx Inc (NASDAQ: CDNA)
  • Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CATB)
  • Catalent Inc (NYSE: CTLT)
  • Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CPRX)
  • Celcuity Inc (NASDAQ: CELC)
  • Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS)
  • Chiasma Inc (NASDAQ: CHMA)
  • Coherus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: CHRS)
  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT)
  • Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CRBP)
  • Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CRNX)
  • Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX)
  • Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE: EW)
  • Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ENTA)
  • Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ)
  • Erytech Pharma SA (NASDAQ: ERYP)
  • Evogene Ltd (NASDAQ: EVGN)
  • Evolus Inc (NASDAQ: EOLS)
  • EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAS)
  • Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL)
  • Flexion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: FLXN
  • G1 Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: GTHX)
  • Galectin Therapeutics Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: GALT)
  • Galera Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: GRTX)
  • Glaukos Corp (NYSE: GKOS)
  • Gossamer Bio Inc (NASDAQ: GOSS)
  • Guardant Health Inc (NASDAQ: GH)
  • GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH)
  • Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE: HAE)
  • Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO)
  • Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX)
  • Hoth Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: HOTH)
  • Ideaya Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: IDYA)
  • Immunic Inc (NASDAQ: IMUX)
  • Innoviva Inc (NASDAQ: INVA)
  • Insmed Incorporated (NASDAQ: INSM)
  • Inspire Medical Systems Inc (NYSE: INSP)
  • Intec Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ: NTEC)
  • Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT)
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG)
  • Invivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: NVIV)
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: JAZZ)
  • Kindred Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: KIN)
  • Kura Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: KURA)
  • Inspire Medical Systems Inc (NYSE: INSP)
  • Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH)
  • Lantheus Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: LNTH)
  • Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND)
  • Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MDGL)
  • Medigus Ltd. (NASDAQ: MDGS)
  • MeiraGTx Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: MGTX)
  • Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MACK)
  • Mesoblast limited (NASDAQ: MESO)
  • Midatech Pharma PLC-ADR (NASDAQ: MTP)
  • Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MIST)
  • Miragen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MGEN)
  • Monopar Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MNPR)
  • Morphic Holding Inc (NASDAQ: MORF)
  • Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN)
  • Natus Medical Inc (NASDAQ: NTUS)
  • Neovasc Inc (NASDAQ: NVCN)
  • Neurometrix Inc (NASDAQ: NURO)
  • Neuronetics Inc (NASDAQ: STIM)
  • NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUVA)
  • OncoSec Medical Inc (NASDAQ: ONCS)
  • Oncternal Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCT)
  • Orchard Therapeutics PLC – ADR (NASDAQ: ORTX)
  • Organovo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: ONVO)
  • Orthofix Medical Inc (NASDAQ: OFIX)
  • Pacira Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX)
  • PLx Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: PLXP)
  • Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PTLA)
  • PRA Health Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: PRAH)
  • Precigen Inc (NASDAQ: PGEN)
  • Precipio Inc (NASDAQ: PRPO)
  • Precision BioSciences Inc (NASDAQ: DTIL)
  • Predictive Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: POAI)
  • Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNX)
  • PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT)
  • Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: PBYI)
  • Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE: DGX)
  • Retrophin Inc (NASDAQ: RTRX)
  • Revolution Medicines Inc (NASDAQ: RVMD)
  • Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL)
  • Rocket Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: RCKT)
  • Rubius Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RUBY)
  • SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SAGE)
  • Sesen Bio Inc (NASDAQ: SESN)
  • Shockwave Medical Inc (NASDAQ: SWAV)
  • SI-Bone Inc (NASDAQ: SIBN)
  • Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI)
  • Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SUPN)
  • Syros Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SYRS)
  • T2 Biosystems Inc (NASDAQ: TTOO)
  • Tandem Diabetes Care Inc (NASDAQ: TNDM)
  • Tcr2 Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TCRR)
  • Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: TTPH)
  • TherapeuticsMD Inc (NASDAQ: TXMD)
  • Titan Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: TMDI)
  • TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ: TROV)
  • Twist Bioscience Corp (NASDAQ: TWST)
  • Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ: RARE)
  • Urogen Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ: URGN)
  • Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA)
  • Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE: VAR)
  • Vericel Corp (NASDAQ: VCEL)
  • Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX)
  • X4 Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: XFOR)
  • X T L Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ: XTLB)
  • Xencor Inc (NASDAQ: XNCR)
  • ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP)
  • Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE)

See Also: 8 Biotechs With Coronavirus Vaccines In Development

Stocks In Focus

Vaxart, Emergent Join Hands For Oral COVID-19 Vaccine, Clinical Trials to Begin In 2020

Vaxart Inc (NASDAQ: VXRT) said it has entered into an agreement with Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS), which will allow Emergent to deploy its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing services to develop and manufacture the former's oral vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

"We believe an oral vaccine administered using a room temperature-stable tablet may offer enormous logistical advantages in the roll-out of a large vaccination campaign, and Emergent is a great partner to help in this endeavor," SAID Wouter Latoud, CEO of Vaxart.

Vaxart expects Emergent to produce bulk cGMP vaccine to allow it to initiate Phase 1 study in the second hand of 2020.

In pre-market trading Wednesday, Vaxart shares were rallying 23.32% to $2.38.

IMV Jumps Into The Fray For COVID-19 Vaccine

Imv Inc (NASDAQ: IMV) said it's advancing the clinical development of a DPX-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19. It intends to develop its vaccine candidate DPX-COVID-19 in collaboration with lead investigators for the phase 1 clinical study

AbbVie, Allergan Agree To Divest Certain Assets To Consummate Proposed Merger

AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) and Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) said they have entered into a consent decree agreement with the FTC staff regarding the former acquiring the latter. Under the agreement, the companies agreed to divest brazikumab, an investigational autoimmune disorder drug, to AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN), and Zenpep, a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis and other conditions, as well as Viokace, another pancreatic enzyme preparation, both to NESTLE S A/S ADR (OTC: NSRGY).

The companies expect the deal to close in May 2020, compared to the initial deadline of early 2020.

In after-hours trading, shares of AbbVie slipped 1.47% to $71.95, while Allergan shares rose 1.84% to $175.

Addex To Delay Parkinson's Disease Drug Registrational Study, Release of Q4 Results

Addex has postponed the start of the registrational efficacy and safety study of dipraglurant to treat levodopa induced dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also announced delaying the release of its fourth quarter results till April 8.

Biomerica Begins International Shipments of COVID-19 Rapid Test

Biomerica said it has commenced shipping initial samples of its COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test – a finger prick test with results in 10 minutes – to countries outside of the U.S.

"Biomerica is positioned to begin filling large international orders of this disposable one-use tests within weeks, assuming international product shipping channels remain open and active," the company said. The company has also begun the application process with the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 test.

Qiagen To Ramp Up Production If COVID-19 Testing Reagents By 7 Times

Qiagen NV Qiagen NV (NYSE: QGEN) said it plans to dramatically ramp global production capacity of RNA extraction kits used as part of workflows around the world to detect nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

From its historical capacity of manufacturing RNA nucleic acid extraction reagents for 1.5 million patient tests on a monthly basis, Qiagen now plans to ramp production of reagents to support more than 6.5 million patient tests a month by the end of April 2020 and over 10 million patient tests a month by the end of June.

Obalon To Halt Sale of Weight Loss System In California Due To COVID-19

Obalon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: OBLN), which markets the first FDA-approved swallowable gas-filled intragastric balloon system for treating obesity, said it has temporarily suspended sale of the system at its existing retail treatment centers in San Diego and Orange County, California in the wake of the COVID-19 threat.


Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: DFFN) reported a narrowing of its fourth-quarter loss from $8.21 in 2018 to $1.76 in 2019. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $14.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2019, compared with $8 million at Dec. 31, 2018.

The stock jumped 22.46% to 35 cents in after-hours trading.

On The Radar

Clinical Readouts

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI) is due to present at the Annual Congress on Pulmonology & Respiratory Medicine, already-released Phase 2 data for Poziotinib in non-small cell lung cancer with exon 20 insertion mutation in EGFR or HER2.


Brickell Biotech Inc (NASDAQ: BBI) (after the close)
Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CPIX) (after the close)
Capricor Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CAPR) (after the close)
Turning Point Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TPTX) (after the close)
Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: OSMT) (after the close)


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