Pharmaceutical News: Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (WPI) Shares Downgraded to “Neutral” by Citigroup (C) Analysts

Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (WPI) Shares Downgraded to “Neutral” by Citigroup (C) Analysts

Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NYSE: WPI) was downgraded by investment analysts at Citigroup (NYSE: C) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

Separately, analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) reiterated a “conviction buy” rating on shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated in a research note to investors on Monday. Analysts at Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) cut their EPS estimates on shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated in a research note on Monday. They now have an “outperform” rating and a $77.00 price target on the stock. Also, analysts at Needham & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated in a research note to investors on Monday.

Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Watson) is an integrated global pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacturing, marketing, sale and distribution of generic and brand pharmaceutical products. It operates in three segments: Global Generics, Global Brands and Distribution. It operates in international markets, including Western Europe, Canada, Australasia, Asia, South America and South Africa with its commercial market being the United States of America. As of December 31, 2010, it marketed approximately 160 generic pharmaceutical product families and approximately 30 brand pharmaceutical product families in the United States, and distributed approximately 8,500 stock-keeping units (SKUs) through its Distribution Division. In January 2010, the Company acquired 64% of Eden Biopharm Group Limited (Eden). In May 2011, it acquired Specifar Pharmaceuticals S.A.

Shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated traded down 2.88% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $55.56. Watson Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has a 52 week low of $53.46 and a 52 week high of $73.35. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $61.05 and its 200-day moving average is $65.34. The company has a market cap of $7.065 billion and a P/E ratio of 39.35.

Formula Pharmaceuticals Appoints Martyn Greenacre to Board of Directors

Formula Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held oncology drug development company, today announced the appointment of Martyn Greenacre to the Board of Directors. Mr. Greenacre served as Chairman of BMP Sunstone Corporation, a pharmaceutical company recently acquired by Sanofi-Aventis.

“Martyn is a highly-valued addition to our Board of Directors,” said Maurits W. Geerlings, Chief Executive Officer of Formula Pharmaceuticals. “His proven leadership, coupled with his extensive business and corporate development experience in the pharmaceutical industry, will be invaluable to us as we advance our lead clinical-stage program.”

Previously, Mr. Greenacre served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Delsys Pharmaceutical Corporation, a formulation and drug delivery system company, where he helped raise more than $50 million in equity and partnership financing and formed three development partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies. Prior to that, Mr. Greenacre served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Zynaxis Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he was responsible for a critical acquisition, divesting a non-performing business and negotiating a strategic merger. Mr. Greenacre also held positions of increasing responsibility in the European division of SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceutical Company, rounding out his time there as Chairman, Europe.

“I am excited to join the Formula leadership team at a time when the company is moving its lead drug candidate, FPI-01, towards Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of first-remission acute myeloid leukemia and other cancers,” said Mr. Greenacre. “I look forward to contributing my knowledge and expertise to supporting major milestones that are on the horizon for the company.”

Mr. Greenacre has also served on a number of start-up company Boards and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Acusphere, Inc. (a drug delivery company), as Chairman of Life Mist Technologies, Inc. (a hospital biological decontamination company), and sits on the board of Curis, Inc. (a biotechnology company). Mr. Greenacre received a B.A. from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

About Formula Pharmaceuticals

Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately-held, oncology drug development company advancing novel medicines to address areas of unmet therapeutic need in cancer. Formula’s lead product candidate, FPI-01, is a first-in-class immunotherapeutic in clinical development for the maintenance of first-remission in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other cancers. Building upon deep industry expertise in identifying, licensing and developing novel medical approaches, Formula’s focus is on accelerating future life-saving cancer therapies.

Founded in late 2009 by Dr. Geerlings and Dr. Mosconi, Formula has assembled a world-class scientific, clinical development and business team well positioned to maximize the clinical and commercial value of promising drug candidates through excellence in drug development and strategic partnering.

Santhera and Ipsen Renegotiate Fipamezole Licensing Agreement

Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SIX: SANN) and Ipsen (Euronext: IPN, ADR: IPSEY) announced today that they have renegotiated their fipamezole licensing agreement. Santhera regains the worldwide rights to the development and commercialization of fipamezole, its first-in-class selective adrenergic alpha-2 receptor antagonist for the management of levodopa-induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease. Under the renegotiated terms, Ipsen returns its rights for territories outside of North America and Japan in exchange for milestone payments and royalties based on future partnering and commercial success of fipamezole. Ipsen retains a call option for worldwide license to the program under certain conditions.

Thomas Meier, Chief Executive Officer of Santhera, commented: “Under the agreement reached with Ipsen, Santhera has regained global marketing rights for fipamezole, which we can further develop in line with the Company’s strategy. In the short term, the focus of our investments remains on our lead product Catena(R) and its multiple product opportunities in neuromuscular and mitochondrial orphan indications. However, fipamezole continues to be a valuable asset in Santhera’s late-stage clinical pipeline.”

Pierre Boulud, Ipsen’s Executive Vice-President, Corporate Strategy stated: “We are pleased that Santhera regains the worldwide rights to an agent like fipamezole. This new agreement will help to leverage the drug’s value on a global basis while allowing Ipsen to focus on its rich late stage development pipeline. With its important commercial overlap with movement disorders, Parkinson Disease remains an important area of commercial focus for Ipsen. Santhera’s commitment to this first-in-class drug has the potential to benefit levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease patients in crucial need of better therapies.”

About the agreement
According to a licensing agreement signed in September 2010, Ipsen had acquired the rights to fipamezole outside the United States, Canada and Japan for an upfront payment of 13 million euros. Under the new agreement, Santhera regains full control over the development and commercialization of fipamezole, whilst Ipsen is entitled to receive milestone and royalty payments contingent upon the occurrence of certain events. Santhera is free to license the program to a third party whereby Ipsen is entitled to receive a percentage of any license income. In addition, the agreement includes a call option allowing Ipsen under certain circumstances to obtain an exclusive worldwide license. Should Ipsen exercise this call option, Santhera will receive milestone and royalty payments from Ipsen.

About Fipamezole
Fipamezole is widely perceived by clinicians as one of the most promising drug candidates to treat Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease, the second most common and a severely debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. As a highly selective adrenergic alpha-2 receptor antagonist, fipamezole is an innovative, first-in-class drug in clinical development for the treatment of levodopa-induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease. Santhera successfully completed two Phase II clinical studies which demonstrated efficacy and safety of fipamezole in the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease. Fipamezole also showed attractive potential for the reduction of levodopa “wearing-off”, and demonstrated improvement in cognition and activities of daily living.

About Santhera
Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SIX: SANN) is a Swiss specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of orphan neuromuscular and mitochondrial diseases, areas of high unmet medical with no current therapies. Santhera’s first product Catena(R) is currently marketed in Canada to treat Friedreich’s Ataxia. Catena(R) is also under review for marketing authorization by the European Medicine Agency as the first therapy for patients suffering from Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.