Today’s Top Biotech Stories: Myriad Genetics, Bayer, Amgen, and Syntahttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/11/todays-top-biotech-stories-myriad-genetics-bayer-a.aspx Leo Sun
March 11, 2014
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.
Let's take a closer look at four companies -- Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN), Bayer (NASDAQOTH: BAYRY), Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), and Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNTA) -- that could make health care headlines this morning.
U.S. court denies Myriad Genetics' request to block Ambry's similar cancer test
Myriad is best known for its BRCA1 and BRCA2 diagnostic tests, which identify genes that can cause breast and ovarian cancers. The Supreme Court previously invalidated several of Myriad's patents, which has left the door open for competitors such as Ambry and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX).
Myriad acquired Crescendo Bioscience last month for $270 million in cash, adding diagnostic tests for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to its portfolio. The Crescendo acquisition was aimed at diversifying Myriad's portfolio beyond its BRACAnalysis tests.
Despite the looming threat of generic competition, Myriad's top line growth has remained robust. Revenue from the company's BRACAnalysis tests jumped 28% year over year last quarter to $141.2 million, accounting for 69% of Myriad's total revenue. Shares of Myriad have rallied more than 50% over the past 12 months.
Bayer and Amgen's Nexavar fails late stage liver cancer trial
Nexavar is already approved as a treatment for advanced liver kidney cancer, liver cancer that cannot be surgically removed, and metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer. The additional adjuvant approval would have boosted sales of Nexavar, which is marketed in more than 100 countries. Nexavar is expected to generate peak sales of $1.46 billion by 2018, up from $1.02 billion in fiscal 2012.
Bayer and Onyx each fund half of the development costs worldwide, excluding Japan, where Bayer pays for all product development. The two companies co-promote the drug within the U.S. and split profits and losses equally. Bayer holds exclusive foreign marketing rights to Nexavar, but the two companies split profits in all international markets excluding Japan.
Synta reports fourth-quarter and full-year earnings
Synta reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $24.2 million, or $0.31 per share, compared to a net loss of $18.1 million, or $0.29 per share, in the prior-year quarter. For the full year, Synta posted a net loss of