Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

No Constipation In Biopharma Newsflow


When it rains, it pours. I mean, what a crazy Monday for deals and data in biopharma.

Amgen released more encouraging data on the late-stage developmental drug Prolia for bone loss in cancer patients. Onyx Pharmaceuticals unveiled positive breast cancer test results with its drug Nexavar. OSI Pharmaceuticals presented promising numbers in a couple of lung cancer patient subgroups with its pill Tarceva. And on the deal side BioCryst Pharmaceuticals announced the government is giving the company another $77 million to finish testing on its experimental, injectable flu-fighter peramivir. AstraZeneca said it's teaming up with the previously left-for-dead Nektar Therapeutics. And even Dell's deal for Perot Systems is moving some healthcare-related stocks.

Leerink Swann, which specializes in healthcare sector coverage, says about half of PER's revenue comes from healthcare information technology (IT).

I had no idea, but LS says Perot is the biggest provider of outsourced services to American hospitals, contracts with around 30,000 docs and has a big international business as well.

In a research note analyst George Hill is telling clients that Perot could take its eye off the ball during the integration. In the meantime, Hill says competitors including Cerner Corp., Computer Programs & Systems, Inc. and Eclipsys Corp. could steal market share. Shares of CERN and CPSI hit new intra-day highs.

The Dell/Perot deal is grabbing the M & A headlines today, but the partnership deal between AZN and NKTR is big, too. When Pfizer unceremoniously dumped its inhalable insulin Exubera because it wasn't selling very well, the partner on the unsuccessful product, Nektar Therapeutics, was left out in the cold. But today NKTR is rising from the ashes. The agreement with AZN on a Nektar drug for constipation caused by pain meds is worth nearly $1.5 billion over time, according to an estimate by Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst Jonathan Aschoff. In intra-day trading, NKTR shares are also at a new high.

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Aschoff says the American market to treat it is worth $1.3 billion and the worldwide potential is more than twice that amount. Chronic constipation in patients who take opiate painkillers is a big problem. I wouldn't know. Hope I never do.

Disclosures: BMC makes a market in NKTR and wants to bank the company.

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