Jim Cramer2

CNBC's Jim Cramer, “I'm sticking by it. I like it."

By Mitchell Young

Stamford: The Opioid crisis has brought a lot of attention to new approaches to pain relief.

Cara Therapeutics, Inc. [Nasdaq: CARA], a biotech focused on developing new non-addictive pain killers is getting some of that attention from investors. The company says its drugs selectively “target peripheral kappa opioid receptors,”  and it reported in the first quarter initial results from a phase 2/3 study.

Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., CEO said, “we observed sustained clinical benefit over the entire two-month treatment period, supporting the potential viability of I.V CR845 as a long-term therapeutic approach for this unmet medical need.”

The company went public in 2014, at $11 per share, one year ago investors appeared to lose confidence and the stock traded as low as $4.76 per share. Investor interest has apparently returned and the stock has risen steadily in the past 12 months.

Screen Shot 2017 05 30 at 2.59.06 PMBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: The news remains especially good for Biohaven Pharma [Nasdaq: BHVN], the company’s public stock offering significantly surpassed initial expectations. Originally targeted to raise approximately $100-125 million at $10 - $16 per share, the company raised $168 million at $17 per share. Existing investors reportedly were seeking up to $70 million of the stock underwriting. Public investors also apparently like the Biohaven story as well, the stock has climbed to more than $26 per share since the early May IPO, bringing the market value of the start-up to more than $840 million.

achillion logoBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [Nasdaq: ACHN] reported in early May that positive results are being shown in clinical trials of its Hepatitis C drug being developed in partnership with Jansen Pharmaceuticals a division of John and Johnson [NYSE: JNJ]. It also announced that it was proceeding with a Phase 2 clinical trial of ACH-4471, for the treatment of PNH [Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria]. PNH is a rare disease and the same one that Alexion Pharmaceuticals generates more than $3 billion in annual sales.

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Alexion's New CEO Ludwig Hantson is making major executive changes

By Mitchell Young

New Haven: In spite of unexpected sales and earnings growth announced by Alexion Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq: ALXN] just weeks ago, the company’s stock has been dropping for most of the past month. The stock took a huge hit with a nearly 10% fall in value on May 23.

There may be a lot of action in the stores on Broadway, but when it comes to corporate board room drama, New Haven at least until now has been a sleepy little college town.

Well everyone is awake at 100 College Street, the one day stock dive followed the announcement that Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., Alexion’s newly appointed CEO is making major changes in the C Level Suite.

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Graphic Describing Achillion's Technology For Drug Development

 

New Haven: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [Nasdaq: ACHN] today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.

The company continues to show quarterly losses but with still have more than $386 million in cash and short-term securities. For the first quarter of 2017, the Company reported a net loss of $20.2 million or $0.15 per share, compared with a net loss of $18.1 million or $0.13 per share for the first quarter of 2016.

In 2016 Achillion entered into a marketing and development agreement for its Hepatitis C drugs with Jansen Pharmaceuticals  a division of Johnson & Johnson. The deal brought a $225 million purchase of stock along with agreed upon payments and royalties as “benchmarks” are reached. The agreement netted Achillion $15 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The heavy lifting for the Hep C drugs is being done by Jansen and Achillion is focusing on new drug development.

Research and development expenses for the company were $15.5 million in the first quarter of 2017, nearly a $2 million increase from the prior year. The spending is for a set of new drugs that the company is hoping to develop is and putting it clinical trials.

Across the street from Achillion, Alexion Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq: ALXN] is doing $3 billion treating a rear disease PNH (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria), with its breakthrough drug Soliris.

Alexion logo colorBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: Worry warts that reacted to Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s [Nasdaq: ALXN] announcement that it was trimming its world wide work force by 5% will be surprised by the company’s  first-quarter 2017 financial results

Revenues rose 24.1% year over year to $870 million, exceeding analysts expectations of $821 million.  There was a small benefit from an accounting change, but reveneus increased by 20% organically.

Shares of Alexion were up more than 5% at the end of trading, in response to the better-than expected results.

The news comes at a good time for the stock as drugs competitive to its flag ship product Soliris started getting some headlines with clinical trial announcements. Soliris sales however continued to rise as the company has found new disease treatments for the drug. The best news for investors is that the company’s big acquisition bets [more than $10 billion total] are starting to show up in sales.

biohavenBy Mitchell Young

New Haven: Biohaven Pharmaceuticals founded in 2013, is developing treatments for neurological diseases and rare disorders, announced terms for its IPO.  The company plans to raise $125 million by offering 8.3 million shares at a price range of $14 to $16 and will be listed on the NYSE, with the symbol BHVN.

Insiders will reportedly purchase $70 million worth of shares in the offering (56%), providing the company a fully diluted market value of $546 million [at the midpoint of the IPO range]. Morgan Stanley, Piper Jaffray and Barclays are the joint underwriters, and the stock is expected to price during the week of May 1, 2017.