Healthcare Roundup – AstraZeneca up modestly on positive COVID-19 vaccine news, Pot stocks rally on Aurora Cannabis reboot actions

医疗保健精选——阿斯利康COVID-19疫苗传利好消息,Aurora Cannabis股价上涨
Published on: June 24, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

AstraZeneca up modestly on positive COVID-19 vaccine news

AstraZeneca (AZN +1.5%) perks up, albeit on below-average volume, in reaction to a report that two doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, were sufficient to counter SARS-CoV-2.

Adjuvant supplier GlaxoSmithKline (GSK +1.7%) is up as well.

Pot stocks rally on Aurora Cannabis reboot actions

Aurora Cannabis (ACB +7.1%) is solidly in the green, albeit on below-average volume, on the heels of its announced actions to right-size operations to better align with demand.

Investors appear to like the news since buying has lifted other players.

Selected tickers: Tilray (TLRY +5.6%), Cronos Group (CRON +6.6%), Canopy Growth (CGC +3.7%), Aphria (APHA +4.6%), Organigram (OGI +5.1%)

Court cuts J&J talc verdict to $2.1B

Bloomberg reports that a Missouri appeals court has reduced Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ -0.3%) $4.7B talcum powder verdict to $2.1B.


Update: The company appealed the 2018 state court verdict awarding 22 women with ovarian cancer $4.69B. Six died before the trial started and five since it ended. It still faces talcum powder-related lawsuits from more than 19K plaintiffs.

Last month, the company announced that it would stop selling talc-containing baby powder in the U.S. and Canada citing diminished demand amid safety concerns.

Gilead nabs stake in cancer therapy developer Pionyr Immunotherapeutics

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) has acquired a 49.9% interest in privately held South San Francisco, CA-based Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, a developer of biologics to treat cancer based on its Myeloid Tuning technology that, it says, alters the tumor microenvironment to favor immune-activating cells over immune-suppressing cells.

Under the terms of the agreement, GILD will pay $275M at closing. It will have an exclusive option to acquire the remaining 50.1% of Pionyr in exchange for a $315M option exercise fee and up to $1.5B in milestones. It will provide additional funding for its PY314 and PY159 programs as well as ongoing R&D efforts.

Pionyr expects to file INDs in the U.S. for the two programs next quarter.

Shares up a fraction premarket.

Kitov Pharma +49% on collaboration with Bristol Myers in lung cancer

Kitov Pharma (NASDAQ:KTOV) is up 49% premarket on the heels of providing updates on clinical progress of CM-24 and NT-219.

The company will collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) on a Phase 1 study of CM-24 in combination with BMY’s Opdivo (nivolumab) for non-small-cell lung carcinoma and pancreatic cancer. The study is expected to begin in Q4 with data expected in H1 2021.

The FDA has signed off on its IND for NT-219, as monotherapy or in combination with Erbitux, for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic solid tumors and head and neck cancer. Phase 1 data are expected in H1 2021.

Multiple data readouts are expected within 15 months.

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