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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Celgene, Biogen, Gilead, Orexigen and Cubist

CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG-Free Report), Biogen (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report), Gilead (Nasdaq:GILD-Free Report), Orexigen (Nasdaq:OREX-Free Report) and Cubist (Nasdaq:CBST-Free Report).

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup

 

Last week, three biotech majors, Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG-Free Report), Biogen (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report) and Gilead (Nasdaq:GILD-Free Report) touched new 52-week highs as they continued to benefit from positive updates in the EU, announced in the previous week.

 

Orexigen Gains on LIGHT Data: Orexigen (Nasdaq:OREX-Free Report) presented positive interim data on its obesity candidate, Contrave, from the Light study last week. A goal set by the FDA was achieved in the study with no new safety signals materializing.

 

With the encouraging cardiovascular outcomes data in hand, Orexigen is set to seek FDA approval for Contrave, again (the FDA had refused to approve Contrave earlier), and could well be on the path to approval by Jun 2014. What makes this even more interesting is that the FDA had earlier refused to approve Contrave due to concerns regarding the candidate's cardiovascular safety profile.

 

The Light data will also come in handy in answering any questions that may be posed by the EU regulatory authorities where Contrave is currently under review.

 

Shares were up 9.3% immediately after the data was released and up 20% by the end of the week. The Light data means a lot to Orexigen which will most likely be the third entrant in the obesity market in recent times. Belviq and Qsymia, two recently launched drugs, are yet to make a mark in the highly lucrative obesity market.

 

Contrave, with its efficacy profile and the Light data, could well become a success story in the obesity market. Currently, chances of gaining FDA approval by June look pretty good, and partner Takeda is already preparing for commercialization. An additional bonus would be EU approval, potentially in the second half of 2014, where Belviq and Qsymia are yet to be approved. There could also be more partnership deals round the corner.

So Orexigen has a lot going for it – possible regulatory approvals, extensive data, a strong marketing partner, additional partnership deals – this is definitely a stock to watch out for.

 

Cubist Hits 52-Week High: Shares of Cubist (Nasdaq:CBST-Free Report) jumped 8% with the company reporting promising phase III data on its experimental antibiotic - ceftolozane/tazobactam for complicated urinary tract infections. Ceftolozane/tazobactam met the primary endpoint of statistical non-inferiority compared to levofloxacin. In fact, even though the study was not conducted to demonstrate superiority, results indicated statistical superiority over levofloxacin.

The safety profile also looked fine and was consistent with earlier studies. Up next is data from a phase III study in patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections – this should be out later this month and expectations are high for positive results.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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