CHICAGO, May 31, 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 Roche Holding AG (OTC:RHHBY), Bayer (OTC:BAYRY), Conceptus Inc. (Nasdaq:CPTS), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Ltd (Nasdaq:JAZZ).
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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Good News for Roche
Roche Holding AG (OTC:RHHBY) recently announced that the company has launched the subcutaneous injection formulation of its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug Actemra in Japan.
The subcutaneous version of the drug was approved for treating RA patients who do not respond adequately to one or more existing therapies.
We note that Roche, through its subsidiary Chugai Pharmaceuticals Ltd., obtained a manufacturing and marketing approval for the subcutaneous formulation of Actemra in Japan in Mar 2013.
Additionally, Actemra was also listed on the National Health Insurance (NHI) reimbursement price list on May 24, 2013.
Meanwhile, the subcutaneous version of the RA drug is currently under review in the US and the EU.
We note that the intravenous version of Actemra is available in Japan since Jun 2005. Actemra is approved in Japan for additional indications.
We believe that the launch of new subcutaneous formulation of Actemra along with the existing intravenous infusion will further boost the sales potential of Actemra. We remind investors that Actemra is a leading drug of Roche with sales of CHF 842 million in 2012 (up 33% from 2011).
We note that the intravenous version of the drug is available in the EU (branded as RoActemra) since 2009 for treating adult RA patients, who did not respond adequately or were intolerant to, previous medication with one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.
Bayer a Step Closer to Conceptus Buy
Bayer (OTC:BAYRY) recently received antitrust clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with respect to the acquisition of Conceptus Inc. (Nasdaq:CPTS). The FTC did not raise any objection with respect to the deal within the relevant waiting period under the US antitrust law. The waiting period ended earlier this week.
However, the transaction is still subject to a minimum tender of at least the majority of outstanding shares of Conceptus.
Last month Bayer's HealthCare unit entered into an agreement to buy Conceptus for $31.00 per share or approximately $1.1 billion in cash in a bid to strengthen its contraceptive portfolio. Bayer commenced a cash tender offer earlier in the month which will expire on Jun 4, 2013.
Bayer's impending acquisition of Conceptus will add the Essure permanent (non-surgical) birth control system to its product portfolio. We note that Conceptus' Essure procedure was approved in 2002 in the US and is well accepted in the market. Conceptus reported net sales of $141 million for the year 2012.
Bayer's contraceptive portfolio currently includes drugs like Yasmin/Yaz and Mirena among others. Successful completion of the acquisition would ensure the presence of short-term, long-term and permanent contraceptive choices for women in Bayer's line-up.
The HealthCare segment recorded revenues of €4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013, up 2.3% year over year. Bayer expects revenues from the HealthCare segment to come in at around €19 billion in 2013.
We remind investors that the contraceptive market has players like Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA).
Bayer has been quite active on the acquisition front lately. Bayer inked a deal to acquire all shares of Germany-based Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH earlier this month. Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk is a private pharmaceutical company which specializes in pharmacy-only herbal medicines. The deal is expected to close early July this year on the fulfilment of certain conditions.
Bayer presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Meanwhile, other stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Ltd (Nasdaq:JAZZ) currently look more attractive carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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