Big-cap biotech regained some ground at the start of the week, inline with the broader markets, on the brink of third quarter earnings. In clinical news, GTX Inc. ( GTXI) said Monday that its muscle drug Ostarine was successful in improving muscle, or lean body mass, in patients with cancer-induced muscle loss in a phase II trial. Shares were up 73 cents, or 4.88%, at $15.70. Meanwhile, Lev Pharmaceuticals said Monday that the Food and Drug Administration approved its Cinryze for patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) as a preventive treatment for attacks. It's the first treatment approved in the U.S. for HAE, a rare disorder that causes periodic, acute episodes of painful swelling in patient's extremities, gastrointestinal tract and airways. In July, ViroPharma ( VPHM) announced it was buying Lev Pharmaceuticals. ViroPharma shares were up $1.28, or 13.38%, at $10.85 Monday. Stanford Research upgraded ViroPharma to buy from hold, upping its price target to $13 from $11. Rodman and Renshaw upgraded the stock to market outperform with an $18 price target. Meanwhile, Robert Baird upgraded Celgene ( CELG) to outperform from neutral, raising its price target to $66 from $65. That stock was trading up $3.88, or 7.1%, at $58.40. Affymetrix ( AFFX) shares fell $1.20, or 22%, to $4.24 after the company announced preliminary third-quarter results below expectations. The company said it expects revenue of around $75 million; analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected $90 million. The company said increased competition for academic research funding and continued softness in industrial spending hurt global sales.
Affymetrix was the only component f the Nasdaq biotechnology index that wasn't in positive territory. The index added 33.46, or 5.4%, to 651.79. Genentech ( DNA) kicks off the biotech earnings season on Tuesday, with Gilead ( GILD) following Thursday. Analysts, on average, are pegging 88 cents a share on revenue of $3.36 billion from Genentech, and they expect 49 cents a share on $1.32 billion from Gilead. Use our third-quarter biotech earnings preview as a guide when you review the upcoming earnings releases.