Biotech Movers: A Tough Week All Around

Here’s a look at recent major developments and share moves in biotech stocks:

Amarin Corp. (NASDAQ:AMRN): Amarin dropped nearly 19% last Friday despite the announcement that it had raised $100 million in funding to help it launch Vascepa, a prescription fish oil meant to treat the heart by lowering triglycerides. However, investors appeared disappointed, viewing the move as an indication that it won’t be bought out by or partnering with a larger drug company to market Vascepa. Previously, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Teva Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA) were discussed as potential buyers.

Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT): Shares of Sarepta fell last Friday despite a small study that showed eteplirsen — Sarepta’s drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy — produced improved walking ability in those treated for more than a year. SRPT previously had spiked to nearly $45 per share back in October on positive news about the drug’s efficacy, but has since retreated almost 45% since then, including just under 8% Friday.

Galena Biopharma (NASDAQ:GALE): Like Sarepta, Galena Biopharma also slid Friday despite positive results for one of its treatments. Galena presented 60-month trial results for breast cancer drug NeuVax last week that showed the drug “continued to demonstrate an excellent safety and efficacy profile.” Still, Gale fell 5.5% last Friday. NeuVax is meant to treat patients that are not eligible for Herceptin, a Roche (PINK:RHHBY) drug.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX): BioCryst shares dropped roughly 7% last Friday after the company said it would cut staffing in half (by 38 positions) for cash savings of $15 to $18 million; for perspective, BCRX is expected to spend $40 million in 2012. The company has been plagued by “setbacks in our peramivir and BCX5191 programs, as well as the delay in our BCX4161 program,” according to CEO Jon P. Stonehouse. BCRX shares have shed around 75% since their mid-March highs around $5.50.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX): AcelRx shed nearly 13% from Dec. 5-7, after the company announced a secondary offering of 12.5 million shares at $3.31 per share — a total of $41.38 million before fees — to help fund operations and other costs involved with an FDA application for its NanoTab system, a form of post-operative pain control.

Kyle Woodley is the Deputy Managing Editor of As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @IPKyleWoodley.

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