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Today's Biggest Biotech Stories: Antares Pharma Inc., BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp.

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Good morning, fellow Foolish investors! It's time to check in on the top stories in the health care sector this morning.

Raptor soars on Huntington disease trial
Shares of Raptor Pharmaceuticals  (NASDAQ: RPTP  )  are up more than 10% this morning after the company released top line results from an 18 month interim analysis for its experimental treatment for Huntington's disease, or HD, called RP103, or delayed-release cysteamine.

So far, the drug is showing a positive trend toward slowing progression of motor loss, a key debilitating feature of HD. However, it's important to understand that the overall trend is still non-significant at the 18 month mark (p=0.19). However, a sub-population analysis of 66 patients not taking concurrent tetrabenazine showed a significant result for RP103 in terms of preserving motor function.

I think the market reaction to Raptor's so-so interim results underscores just how valuable a potential treatment for HD would be. Prana Biotechnology also soared this week after releasing results for its HD trial.

Will Antares pump up your portfolio?
The clinical trial data continues to roll in this morning with Antares Pharma  (NASDAQ: ATRS  )  announcing positive results from a mid-stage trial evaluating the pharmacokinetic profile of testosterone enanthate administered using the VIBEX QuickShot auto injector in testosterone deficient adult males.The study looked at 29 low testosterone men split into two dosing groups, 50 and 100 mgs respectively.

Overall, the study showed that VIBEX is effective at restoring testosterone levels to near normal levels within 24 hrs, and this result appears to be independent of dosing levels. It was also well tolerated with no serious adverse effects.

That said, investors need to understand that more clinical testing is needed prior to a regulatory filing. So, while this is definitely a positive development, most of Antares' valuation will continue to be tied to its recently approved treatment for severe rheumatoid arthritis, Otrexup. 

BioCryst moving higher on conference trips
The importance of marketing can never be underestimated in the health care sector, and one of the best ways to get the word out remains the old fashioned investor conference. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BCRX  ) announced this morning that management will hit the road in March to attend three separate investor conferences to spread the word about the company's growing clinical pipeline. Shares are up 5% this morning following this announcement.

Is BioCryst worth watching? While BioCryst has an intriguing clinical pipeline for infectious diseases with blockbuster potential, my view is that the company is fairly valued given that its pipeline is mostly still in early stages of development, and the company already sports a market cap of $632 million. So, you may want to take a wait and see approach with this one. 

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George Budwell

George Budwell has been writing about healthcare and biotechnology companies at the Motley Fool since 2013. His primary interests are novel small molecule drugs, next generation vaccines, and cell therapies.

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Related Tickers

9/3/2015 4:00 PM
ATRS $1.79 Down -0.08 -4.28%
Antares Pharma, In… CAPS Rating: ***
BCRX $11.13 Down -0.35 -3.05%
BioCryst Pharmaceu… CAPS Rating: *
RPTP $12.68 Down -0.32 -2.46%
Raptor Pharmaceuti… CAPS Rating: **