We hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe December, with happy, relaxing holidays. As 2011 approaches, a plethora of finance gurus have begun issuing their tips and recommendations for the new year. This morning alone, we’ve seen positive articles come out from Seeking Alpha (“4 Reasons Why Stocks Will Rally Again in 2011?), The Street and CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who expects the DOW to increase 16% next year, and Bloomberg News’ John Dorfman (“…Top 10 List for 2011?), among many others. But while many are optimistic over the economy for 2011, others are taking a more cautious approach, as suggested by this morning’s Business Insider article, “5 Stocks Due for a Pullback.” Netflix, Amazon, and stocks tied to the health of the Chinese market (e.g., Baidu) are addressed.
At Crystal Research, we are looking forward to 2011 and intend to continue thoroughly evaluating companies’ potential, supplying investors with the knowledge they need to make an informed investment decision on some truly innovative firms. Visit us at crystalra.com for more information and profiles of companies, such as U.S.-based Unilife Corp. (UNIS-NASDAQ), which has spent 2010 increasing its operational capabilities in order to meet projected market demand for its proprietary safety syringe products. Unilife has nearly completed a move into a custom-designed 165,000 ft2 global headquarters and commercial production facility in York, Pennsylvania. As well, the Company has met 9 of 10 milestones under an industrialization program with sanofi-aventis for the “Unifill® Syringe,” which is a year ahead of schedule and has generated $22.5 million in milestone payments to date. Commercial manufacturing of the Unifill® Syringe is expected by mid-2011. This is in addition to sales of Unilife’s Unitract® range of 1mL safety syringes, which began in 2010.
Today we issued an updated, 44-page Executive Informational Overview® (EIO®) on BELLUS Health Inc. (BLU-TSX). BELLUS, up more than 100% this morning after announcing the start of a Phase III trial for KIACTA yesterday, is a global health company focused on the research and development of innovative health solutions for critical, unmet medical needs. The Company’s pharmaceutical pipeline targets disorders for which there are no known cures.
BELLUS Health’s most advanced pharmaceutical candidate is KIACTA (eprodisate) to treat Amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis, a disease marked by an abnormal accumulation of certain proteins that can cause organ dysfunction, organ failure, and even death. In December 2010, KIACTA entered a confirmatory Phase III trial funded by Celtic Therapeutics, a global private equity firm, under an April 2010 agreement between BELLUS Health and Celtic.
The Company’s pharmaceutical pipeline also includes NRM8499, a prodrug for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that entered a Phase I trial in March 2010. Additionally, through a wholly owned subsidiary, OVOS Natural Health Inc., the Company markets a clinically tested nutraceutical called VIVIMIND (tramiprosate/homotaurine) to protect memory function. VIVIMIND is available online and has been granted approval for sale in Canada, Italy, and Spain.
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News from our coverage universe this week includes Johnson & Johnson’s bid to buy Crucell for $2.3 billion, the distribution of two of Bioniche’s cattle reproduction products in Australia, the latest advances in CEL-SCI’s Multikine® manufacturing and laboratory operations, and the upcoming release of Peregrine’s 2Q2011 financial results.
JNJ and Crucell in Advanced Negotiations for an All-Cash Public Offer
Earlier today, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-NYSE) and Crucell N.V. (CRXL-NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ) announced that JNJ’s newly formed, indirect wholly owned subsidiary, JJC Acquisition Company B.V., made a recommended cash offer for all of Crucell’s outstanding equity at an offer price of €24.75 (~US$32.81) per share. The roughly $2.3 billion offer is a 58% premium over the €15.70 closing price of Crucell’s ordinary shares on NYSE Euronext on September 16, 2010 (the day before the companies announced negotiations) and a 63% premium over the stock’s 30-day trading average of €15.20. JNJ plans to keep Crucell as a center for vaccines, retaining the company’s headquarters and existing facilities, its senior management, and, generally, its employment levels. The offer is subject to certain conditions, including the satisfaction of a minimum acceptance level of at least 95% of shares (or at least 80%, if certain conditions are met). The acceptance period extends through February 16, 2011. Crucell has scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting on February 8, 2011, in Amsterdam. For the latest information on the potential acquisition, please visit Crucell’s website at www.crucell.com.
CEL-SCI’s Manufacturing and Laboratory Operations Deemed GMP-Compliant
As well, CEL-SCI Corporation (CVM-NYSE Amex) announced that its manufacturing and laboratory operations were deemed Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant following an audit by a European Union Qualified Person (QP). This milestone paves the way for CEL-SCI to export its flagship cancer product, Multikine®, to the EU for use in its Phase III clinical trial in head and neck cancer patients. To read the full article, click here.
Bioniche Distributor Enters Exclusive Supply Agreement with Angus Australia
On December 6, 2010, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (BNC-TSX) announced that its Australian distributor, Bayer Animal Health, entered into an exclusive supply agreement with Angus Australia. Bayer Animal Health is the exclusive distributor of two Bioniche cattle reproduction products in Australia: Cue-Mate™ and Pregnecol™. Under the agreement, Bayer is exclusively supplying the two reproductive products to the breed society for a three-year period. Bioniche believes that Angus Australia’s commitment to the exclusive use of its reproductive products affirms the products’ quality and demonstrates their perceived value in Angus Australia’s artificial insemination program.
Peregrine To Announce 2Q11 Results on Thursday, December 9th
Stay tuned tomorrow as Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PPHM-NASDAQ) reports financial results for the second quarter FY 2011 (ended October 31, 2010). The company is hosting a conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) on Thursday, December 9th to discuss financial results and review its clinical development programs for first-in-class monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and viral infections. To listen to the call, dial (877) 312-5443 or (253) 237-1126 or view a live webcast online at www.peregrineinc.com.
After the close of business today, we released a new report on Authentidate Holding Corp. (ADAT-NASDAQ). We first initiated coverage on Authentidate in March 2009 and have watched the company expand greatly since then. Its flagship product is Inscrybe® Healthcare, which provides a means for healthcare organizations and other enterprises to increase revenues, improve productivity, enhance patient care, and reduce costs by eliminating paper and manual work steps while enhancing regulatory compliance. During the past year, Authentidate has announced 11 new projects for Inscrybe® Healthcare, which include sales to home medical equipment companies, home healthcare service agencies, and respiratory products and service institutions.
As well, the Company has ramped up commercialization of a telehealth product line, ExpressMD™ Solutions, which has added at least four new clients in the past six months. In addition to an existing cash position of roughly $1.7 million (plus deferred revenue of $1.1 million) at September 30, 2010, Authentidate raised a further $4.5 million in October 2010.
Today’s report—a 64-page, very thorough depiction of Authentidate, its products, markets, customers, competitors, and financial position—is available free of charge on our website at www.crystalra.com, as well as through several of our distribution partners: CapitalIQ, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Reuters, etc.
- Roughly 31% of all U.S. healthcare costs are related to paperwork, which Authentidate believes equals over $600 billion in annual administrative spending that could reach $1.3 trillion by 2017. In addition, the telehealth market is expected to expand 5.9% annually to approximately $12 billion by 2012, with in-home remote patient monitoring potentially becoming a $4 billion to $6 billion market by 2013.
- Authentidate may benefit from recent federal healthcare reform as well as trends to reduce costs, shorten hospital stays, emphasize wellness and preventive care, and automate healthcare records and processes. If most hospitals and doctors’ offices adopted workflow and other IT solutions, the potential savings for inpatient and outpatient care could average over $77 billion/year.
- In customer case studies, Inscrybe® Healthcare has improved productivity, reduced approval and reimbursement cycle times, and provided a verifiable transaction audit trail for increased compliance. In one case study, Inscrybe® decreased document turnaround time from between 20 and 22 days to an average of five to seven days and improved document capacity on a monthly basis by 30% to 40%.