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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceutical, DISH Network, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Communications

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 23, 2013 – 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 AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMAG - Free Report) , Takeda Pharmaceutical , DISH Network Corp. (DISH - Free Report) , Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Free Report) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Swiss Recall for AMAG/Takeda’s Rienso

AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMAG - Free Report) has been recently informed by partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical , that the latter is recalling a specific batch of Rienso from the Swiss market.

Takeda’s reason to recall the specific batch of Rienso was primarily due to some post-marketing adverse event reports concerning hypersensitivity reactions of varying severity after the administration of Rienso from that batch. We note that Takeda is the exclusive distributor of Rienso in Canada and the EU. Both companies are currently investigating the batch. Takeda will introduce a new batch of the drug in that area post investigating reports and approval from Swissmedic.

We note that Rienso is approved in the EU as an IV iron therapy to treat iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in adults suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). The drug is also available in the US for the same indication under the trade name Feraheme.

Meanwhile, AMAG is expected to present data from a new sub-group analysis from the phase III study (IDA-301) on Feraheme at a poster session of the Digestive Disease Week 2013 (DDW) meeting in Orlando, Fla.

We note that AMAG submitted a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for Feraheme in Dec 2012. AMAG is looking to get Feraheme’s label expanded for the treatment of CKD adults suffering from IDA with a history of unsuccessful oral iron therapy, including those patients suffering from GI disease.

In the full IDA-301 study, adults suffering from IDA for whom oral iron treatment was found to be inadequate, were treated with Feraheme (n=608) and placebo (n=200). However, the sub-group analysis of the IDA-301 study was based on 231 patients suffering from gastrointestinal (GI) disease. Out of the 231 patients, 173 were treated under Feraheme and the rest were under the placebo arm.

The GI sub-group analysis showed that at week 5, 82.1% of the patients under the Feraheme arm demonstrated an increase in hemoglobin in comparison to 1.7% of patients in the placebo arm. Moreover patients in the Feraheme arm demonstrated an 11.6 point improvement in self-reported fatigue compared to that of 7.9 point in patients in the placebo arm.

DISH Network to Acquire More Airwaves

A recent Bloomberg report stated that satellite-TV operator DISH Network Corp. (DISH - Free Report) has made an offer of $2 billion to purchase the wireless frequencies of the bankrupt wireless wholesale service provider LightSquared Inc. However, the approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a major concern looming over this offer. FCC refused the use of this particular airwave as it was interfering with the global positioning system. This is the reason behind Lightsquared’s bankruptcy.

For DISH, we believe that management is trying hard to develop the company as storage for spectrums that can be used to deploy a viable nationwide mobile network to offer bundled triple-play wireless voice, broadband Internet and pay-TV network. DISH is primarily targeting the wireless spectrum of those firms which went bankrupt. In 2012, the company purchased 2 slots of the 40 MHz S-band wireless spectrum fromTerreStar Networks Inc. and DBSD North America Inc. for a consideration of $2.9 billion.

In a major strategic move, DISH made a counter bid of $25.5 million to acquire Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Free Report) . Softbank of Japan had earlier made a $20.1 billion bid for Sprint. DISH network is trying hard to either acquire or collaborate with an established wireless operator to challenge telecom giants such as Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) .

Earlier, DISH had purchased bankrupt movie-rental chain Blockbluster Inc. However, the acquisition failed to provide the required synergies to DISH and is currently considered as one of its worst performing assets. Successful deployment of a nationwide wireless network may enable DISH to install a formidable video-on-demand service over a wireless network of mobile handsets, such as smartphones and tablets. DISH currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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