Thursday's Health Winners & Losers
Food and Drug Administration safety concerns hurt biopharmaceutical company Palatin's (PTN) shares, on an otherwise limp day for health stocks.
King Pharmaceuticals (KG) and Palatin Technologies delayed plans for the initiation of phase III trials for erectile dysfunction treatment bremelanotide based on the FDA's concerns about the risk/benefit ratio. The agency's greatest safety concern was an increase in blood pressure, according to the company.
King shares, gave up 70 cents, or 4.5%, to $14.91, to weigh on the Amex Pharmaceutical index, which was down 85, or 0.25%, to 335.58. Shares of Palatin, a micro-cap, plummeted $1.14, or 65.8%, to 59 cents.
Cephalon (CEPH) said it received orphan-drug status for Treanda, its treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease. The drugmaker plans to submit a new-drug application in the third quarter for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.The FDA grants orphan drug status to support the development of treatments for rare diseases affecting less than 200,000 in the U.S. annually. It allows the company seven years of marketing exclusivity in the U.S. Cephalon is also studying Treanda for patients with slow-progressing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that's resistant to standard treatment. Shares of the company rose 68 cents, or 1%, to $74.02. Other health stocks were slumping Thursday despite varied news. Anesiva (ANSV) licensed its drug-delivery technology to Particle Therapeutics for a needle-free, intradermal delivery system for glucagon, a hormone used for the treatment of hypoglycemia associated with type I and type II diabetes. The company will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, in addition to milestone payments for certain key clinical and regulatory achievements, royalties on future sales and royalties on revenue from any future sublicensing of the technology by Particle Therapeutics. Regardless, Anesiva shares were down 16 cents, or 2.4%, to $6.52.
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