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J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: 10 Biotech Stories You Might've Missed

January 15, 2015 1:18 pm
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As expected, it was a busy week for biotechs during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Here's a recap of some of the news from the past week.

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP) announced it was being acquired by Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ: SHPG) for $5.2 billion.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) and Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) announced positive revenue guidance. Pharmacyclics released preliminary revenue results for 2014 of $492 million. $185 million came from the fourth quarter, which was a 31 percent increase from the previous quarter. These numbers beat investor expectations.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) announced results of a Six Minute Walk Test from a Phase 2b trial that disappointed investors.

Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) announced it is acquiring a majority stake in genomics company Foundation Medicine Inc (NASDAQ: FMI) at $50 per share.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY) announced it was stopping its Phase 3 study of Opdivo early for efficacy. The drug worked so well that the trial hit primary endpoints before expected. The company also announced collaborations with Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY) to evaluate Opdivo in combination with other drugs.

In CAR-T news, Intrexon Corp (NYSE: XON) and ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: ZIOP) announced a joint licensing agreement with MD Anderson to develop chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies. The two companies are paying MD Anderson $50 million each, payable in shares of their stock.

Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO), bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE), and Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: KITE) all made presentations this week, but there was no new clinical data released.

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN) reached a partnership agreement with Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) to develop immuno-therapies. Agenus received $25 million upfront, a $35 million investment at $4.51 per share, and $350 million in milestone payments.

Related Link: What Investors Are Watching In The Stem Cell Space

On January 13, investors discovered that the SEC is investigating Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: AEGR) for Juxtapid sale activities. The next day, an activist investor announced he is pushing to oust the Aegerion CEO and put the company up for sale.

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) CEO Alfred Mann, lastly, announced he was retiring. The company appointed Hakan Edstrom as the new CEO. This comes right as Mannkind and Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY) are planning to launch Afrezza.

Image credit: Sergei Goryev, Flickr

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