Healthcare Biz Recap: Aeterna Zentaris Shares Surge, J&J Files with FDA

Shares of Aeterna Zentaris (NASDAQ:AEZS) pop on the news of an article that describes how the firm’s perifosine compound might be used to treat Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, which is an aggressive cancer linked with exposure to asbestos. Thursday’s action marks a rebound for the stock, which was hit in April following the failure of a Phase III trial for colorectal cancer.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) files for marketing approval with the FDA, for one of its most promising candidates, its Type 2 diabetes pill canagliflozin.

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Microcap BioCurex (BOCX.OB) shares spike, then settle back to an increase of more than 100 percent, following the announcement that it’s received a commitment from Paulson Investment to make a stake in a long-term convertible note. The former will use the proceeds to pay off a short-term debt obligation which is due in two weeks.

In the next six months, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) will name a new CEO, who will be bullish on acquisitions, says Leerink Swann. Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX), which the analyst upgraded on Thursday to Outperform, is said to be the likely takeover candidate, although AZN has other options, such as Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) and Salix (NASDAQ:SLXP). Forest Labs was moved higher by Leerink due to its impressive aclidinium franchise potential, sales growth expectations from new product intros, and its above mentioned potential as a takeover candidate. In addition, its price target was raised from a range of $33 to $34, to $41.

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