One government contract moved two starry-eyed companies on an otherwise vanilla Friday for biotech stocks ahead of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference next week.
To start with a less fortunate stock, shares of
tanked $4.80, or 60%, to 3.20 after the company said Friday that it wasn't selected for a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract to develop and stockpile a treatment for radiation exposure.
The company said it is very surprised by the DoD's decision and has requested a debriefing to better understand the decision.
On the other hand, having won the contract,
added $1.15, or 9.2%, to $13.72. Thursday after the market closed, the company said the U.S. Department of Defense will pay it up to $224.7 million to develop and stockpile Prochymal, an adult stem cell treatment for radiation exposure. The stock is a component of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, but it wasn't enough to push it into the green -- the index was down 7.24, or 0.87%, at 827.66.
Also Thursday after close, The Food and Drug Administration cautioned that a study of breast cancer and one of cervical cancer both showed higher mortality rates in patients who'd taken chemotherapy-induced anemia drugs, like
Epogen and Aranesp.
The FDA said Thursday that
it's reviewing information on the ESAs and will take additional actions as appropriate. ESAs are a class of anemia drugs used for chemotherapy-induced anemia and also anemia related to chronic renal disease. In early 2008, a previously announced advisory committee will meet to re-evaluate the risk and benefit balance of the drugs. Amgen was trading down 54 cents, or 1.2%, at 45.15 on Friday.
gave 2008 guidance Friday, with sales in line with expectations and net income predictions below the Street's view.
Sales of the company's lead product Velcade for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, increased 20% to $265 million in 2007. Millennium said it's looking for sales to increase 20% to 30%, roughly in a range of $320 to $345 million in 2008. This is in line with analysts' expectations of $335 million.
Millennium is looking for adjusted net income of $80 million to $95 million. Cowen and Co. analyst Rachael McMinn, who was looking for closer to $144 million, said that a difference between the estimates could be because the street has factored in the expectation of a milestone payment based on the front-line multiple myeloma (MM) approval for Velcade in 2008.
Shares edged down 58 cents, or 3.7%, to $14.89.
Also on the decline,
, which makes life sciences tools. On Friday the company said that it is expanding its business amid management fluctuation.
The company created two new divisions, resulting in a new Life Sciences business unit, for products and services related to the research market, and a Diagnostics business unit, for content for the BeadXpress system and Illumina's Sequencing products.
The timing of the restructuring was driven by several management changes, according to the company. Chief operating officer John Stuelpnagel is moving to part-time status as of April 1, and Senior Vice President and General Manager John West is resigning effective February 1. Chief Financial Officer Christian Henry will take on the role of acting general manager of the sequencing business. And the company has also hired yet-to-be announced SVPs and general managers for the two new units.
Shares descended $2.50, or 4.5%, at $56.42 on Friday.