Health Winners & Losers: Abiomed
Biotech stocks fared just slightly better than broader markets midweek amid a light array of business news.
Pfizer (PFE) said Wednesday that it has settled all Lipitor patent litigation with India-based Ranbaxy Laboratories. Ranbaxy will have a license to sell generic versions of cholesterol-lowering drugs Lipitor and Caduet in the U.S., but not starting until Nov. 30, 2011. Pfizer shares were up 40 cents, or 2.3%, at $8.12.
Meanwhile, Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) said it plans to bid $2.56 billion for Czech generic-drug maker Zentiva, overstepping a previous bid by financial group PPF. Sanofi -- which owns nearly 25% of Zentiva -- said it will offer 1,050 Czech crowns a share, an 11% premium to PPF's offer. PPF, which owns nearly 20% of Zentiva, prior to Sanofi's offer announcement had said that it may improve the terms of its bid. Sanofi shares were trading up 41 cents, or 1.3%, at $32.97.
Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis are both components of the Amex pharmaceutical index, which was up 0.7% at 287.57.The Nasdaq and Amex biotech indices lagged the pharma index, giving up 0.3% each. However, component and biotech bellwether Biogen Idec (BIIB) was trading up 77 cents, or 1.3%, at $59.12 a day before its annual meeting. Medical-device company Abiomed (ABMD) persisted upward Wednesday, adding 41 cents, or 2.1% to $19.55, as analysts continued to offer bullish sentiment on a recently approved product. UBS upped its price target for the stock to $28 from $18. Earlier in the week Stifel Nicolaus analyst Gregory Simpson raised his price target to $25 from $22, with high hopes for the revenue potential of the company's implantable Impella 2.5 cardiac assist device, which received Food and Drug Administration approval earlier in the month.
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