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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Gilead, Cytokinetics, Puma, Biogen and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Gilead (Nasdaq:GILD-Free Report), Cytokinetics (Nasdaq:CYTK-Free Report), Puma (NYSE:PBYI-Free Report), Biogen (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report) and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SPPI-Free Reporthttp://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=zrmodule&ADID=ZACKS_PFP_TOP_ZRMODULE&skip_rpt_name_check=skip_rpt_name_check&t=SPPI).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biogen Stock Roundup

We are in the midst of earnings season with several biotech companies coming out with fourth quarter results and guidance for 2014. Meanwhile, pipeline data continues to flow in and the companies carry on with the usual business of filing for regulatory approval. But first, a look at a couple of winners on the earnings front.

Gilead's (Nasdaq:GILD-Free Report) Sovaldi Off to a Flying Start: Gilead's fourth quarter results were strong with the company surpassing both revenue and earnings expectations. But the main focus was on the performance of recently launched hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, Sovaldi.

Sovaldi delivered sales of $136 million in just a month on the market. About $50 million represented patient demand. The strong launch indicates continued outperformance in 2014. Typically, new HCV treatments benefit due to the warehousing effect – patients and physicians postpone treatment with existing drugs so as to avail better new treatments once they are launched. Given the strong start, Sovaldi estimates are on the rise.

Cytokinetics (Nasdaq:CYTK-Free Report) Surprises: Cytokinetics' shares gained 26.1% on strong fourth quarter results. The company surprised with its results - it reported a profit while analysts were expecting a loss. The company has three promising pipeline candidates and investors will be on the lookout for updates on the same.

Puma (NYSE:PBYI-Free Report) Surges on EU Patent Decision: Puma Biotech soared 18.2% on favorable patent-related news from Europe. The company's licensed European patent - EP 1848414 - was upheld by the European Patent Office. Boehringer Ingelheim was looking to get the patent revoked.

Basically, this patent includes specific claims like a pharmaceutical composition for use in treating cancer in patients having a mutation in EGFR with a T790M mutation using an irreversible EGFR inhibitor. Although Puma is not developing its experimental cancer drug, neratinib, for the T790M resistance mutation, the patent is important in the T790M landscape and could help the company garner patent-related royalties in future.

Repros Soars on Androxal Data: Repros saw its shares soaring more than 15% on a favorable update regarding its experimental drug, Androxal, which is being developed for the treatment of secondary hypogonadism. The company met with the FDA to discuss phase III data requirements for its regulatory application for Androxal.

Repros said it remains on track to submit the NDA by year's end. The key take away from the meeting is that the company will not have to run additional safety studies as had been expected earlier.

EU Win for Biogen's (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report) Tecfidera: Biogen's oral multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera gained EU approval. This was largely expected – Biogen had already received a positive opinion regarding Tecfidera's approval in the EU last year. The company was waiting for stronger patent coverage which came through in November last year with the receipt of new active substance (NAS) designation for dimethyl fumarate. With the NAS designation in place, Tecfidera will enjoy 10 years of regulatory exclusivity in the EU.

Priority Review for Spectrum Drug: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq:SPPI-Free Reporthttp://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=zrmodule&ADID=ZACKS_PFP_TOP_ZRMODULE&skip_rpt_name_check=skip_rpt_name_check&t=SPPI) shares have been gaining ever since the FDA said that it will issue a response on the company's experimental lymphoma drug, Beleodaq, on a priority basis.  A response will be out by Aug 9.

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Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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