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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amgen, Celladon, Biogen, Celgene and Gilead

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For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – April 30, 2015 – 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 Amgen ((AMGN - Free Report) ), Celladon (), Biogen ((BIIB - Free Report) ), Celgene ((CELG - Free Report) ) and Gilead ((GILD - Free Report) ).
           
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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:     
               

Biotech Stock Roundup: Weakness Pervades
 
It’s been a turbulent few days for the biotech sector with the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index declining 5.46% over the last five trading days. A major part of this decline was recorded on Monday as the sector reacted to negative pipeline updates from companies like Amgen ((AMGN - Free Report) ) and Celladon (). Meanwhile, Biogen’s ((BIIB - Free Report) ) results were also a disappointment.
 
Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories      
 
1. Ahead of an FDA advisory panel meeting, the regulatory agency released briefing documents regarding Amgen’s experimental skin cancer treatment, talimogene laherparepvec. Some of the questions raised by the agency include the imbalance in drop-outs which could have created bias in favor of the talimogene laherparepvec arm, limited and difficult to quantify data supporting talimogene laherparepvec’s systemic effect as well as the lack of robust survival results.
 
The briefing documents also state that an accelerated approval pathway for talimogene laherparepvec is not feasible currently. Amgen’s shares were down 3.3% on the concerns raised in the briefing documents. The FDA’s advisory panels will be meeting today to discuss the talimogene laherparepvec regulatory filing.
 
2. Celladon saw its shares plunging 80.7% on disappointing data from a mid-stage study on its cardiovascular gene therapy agent Mydicar. The phase IIb CUPID2 study for advanced heart failure failed to meet its primary as well as secondary endpoints (Read more: Celladon's Advanced Heart Failure Study Fails, Shares Crash).
 
3. Celgene ((CELG - Free Report) ) announced that it will be acquiring privately held biotech company Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in a deal worth up to $485 million (includes an upfront payment of $100 million and additional payments of $385 million on the achievement of research, development, and regulatory advances). This acquisition will give Celgene access to Quanticel's proprietary platform for the single-cell genomic analysis of human cancer, as well as Quanticel's lead cancer programs (Read more: Celgene to Buy Quanticel, Boost Pipeline Development).
 
4. Gilead ((GILD - Free Report) ) presented data on Sovaldi-based regimens in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients with certain genotypes at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (The International Liver Congress 2015). The company also presented results on its other HCV treatment – Harvoni. Gilead reported high cure rates across a range of genotypes (Read more: Gilead and Bristol-Myers Reveal Positive Data on HCV Drugs).
                                                                                                          
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Amgen Inc. (AMGN) - free report >>

Biogen Inc. (BIIB) - free report >>

Celgene Corporation (CELG) - free report >>

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) - free report >>

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