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Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD) surged more than 150 percent in mid-morning trading on word that the firm’s Pimavanserin drug for Parkinson’s disease succeeded in meeting the primary goal and key secondary goals of a Phase III trial. In the study, which evaluated the efficacy, tolerability and safety of Pimavanserin in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease psychosis, the company reported that Pimavanserin met the primary endpoint of the trial by exhibiting highly significant antipsychotic efficacy as gauged using the 9-item SAPS-PD scale. Further, the drug met the secondary endpoint for motoric tolerability and clinical benefits were seen in all exploratory efficacy measures with significant improvements in nighttime sleep, daytime wakefulness and reduction of caregiver burden. Executive Vice Presdient of Development Roger G. Mills, M.D. said that “benefits of Pimavanserin were seen by patients, caregivers and investigators, as well as the independent raters.” The company intends to continue ongoing preparations for a confirmatory Phase III trial, which will use the same design. Shares closed up 136.09 percent on the day at $5.43, having been traded in a 52-week range of $0.93 to $3.06.
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Apollo Global Management (NASDAQ:APO) was said late on Sunday by The Telegraph to be in discussions to acquire Aurum, which own two United Kingdom jewelry chains, for approximately ₤180 million. That figure approximates to six times the forecast for the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The report estimated that the transaction could close as soon as this week. In reaction, shares of a number of publicly listed jewelers moved higher in mid-morning Tuesday, including Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG), which rose by 3.87 percent to $54.18, Zale Corporation (NYSE:ZLC), up 3.31 percent to $4.94 and Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) up 4.76 percent to $39.28. Apollo shares closed up 0.46 percent on the day at $15.34, and have been traded in a 52-week range of $10.42 to $15.48.
ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) and Ralcorp Holding (NYSE:RAH) have reached a definitive agreement through which ConAgra Foods will acquire Ralcorp, which is the largest manufacturer of private label food in the United States. Through the terms, Ralcorp shareholders will receive $90 per share in cash for each outstanding share of common stock they hold, marking a 28.2 percent bonus to Ralcorp’s common stock close on November 26th, and a 24.9 percent premium to the average closing price of Ralcorp’s common stock for the 30 trading days ending the same day. The transaction is valued at around $6.8 billion, including the assumption of debt. Since this acquisition is expected to close by March 31st, management projects that it should have a modest benefit on fiscal 2013 financial results and it will quantify that benefit in the coming months. Additionally, it expects to achieve about $225 million in cost synergies on an annual basis by the fourth full fiscal year after completion. The purchase of Ralcorp should to be financed mostly with cash on hand, existing credit facilities and new borrowings, for which ConAgra Foods has received a commitment letter from BofA Merrill Lynch. ConAgra shares closed up 4.74 percent on the day at $29.63, having been traded in a 52-week range of $23.64 to $28.80.
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