The markets have been choppy to say the least amid oil price volatility and investors looking ahead to testimony from Janet Yellen. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped almost 150 points shortly after the open Tuesday morning, but briefly reversed its trend. The blue chips index also briefly rose 100 points in late-afternoon trading, but closed about 12 points lower on Tuesday. Wednesday as rumors build surrounding the Fed’s possible implementation of negative interest rates as a way to boost economic activity, Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank has not completely researched whether that would be legal.
While markets continue to waiver, there are several stocks to pay attention to amid recent engagement and groundbreaking advancements; specifically in biotechnology. In a recent announcement VBI Vaccines Inc (NASDAQ:VBIV) entered into a research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA, the Belgium-based human vaccine research arm of GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK). The engagement was entered into in order to have GSK Biologicals evaluate VBI’s LPV™ Platform.
Being that GSK is working to develop or improve vaccines to cover a range of global diseases (including HIV, influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis) this evaluation will allow GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) a period in which to option a negotiation of an exclusive licensing agreement of VBI’s LPV Platform for use in a defined field.
Much of GSK’s research focuses on increasing vaccine access to developing countries. GSK Biologicals has partnered with WHO (world Health Organization) and UNICEF to extend its reach into poorer regions and eliminate disease. GSK Biologicals is also involved with the worldwide search for vaccinations against avian flu and malaria.
Being that VBI Vaccines Inc (NASDAQ:VBIV) has completed proof of concept studies on a number of vaccine and biologic targets they have been able to demonstrate the LPV Platform’s ability to preserve potency under stress conditions. Furthermore, being that GSK is a very well established company, VBI’s LPV is not solely limited to new vaccines.
The LPV Platform can be used for either new or existing vaccines to preserve stability and potency of several classes of vaccine antigens and biologics, including protein-based, monoclonal antibodies, whole-inactivated, and live-attenuated vaccines and viral vectors.
The vaccine market has very distinct features, which increase the complexity of assessing and understanding pricing and procurement. It is made up of individual markets for individual vaccines or vaccine types, each with their own specificities. UNICEF Supply Division and PAHO Revolving Fund have considerable influence on the market, which allows them to procure vaccines for significantly lower prices than many countries could achieve on their own. Annually UNICEF procures some or all vaccines for up to 100 countries whereas PAHO procures for around 40 member states. Based on the relationships built between GSK and organizations like UNICEF, VBI’s Platform could soon be on a fast track for deployment by GSK Biologicals; both biotech stocks with potential in a bear market.
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Eanings Review: Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS), Revlon Inc (NYSE:REV)
Revlon Inc(NYSE:REV) +2.5% after-hours after announcing that President and CEO Fabian Garcia is stepping down “to pursue other opportunities,” and Executive Vice Chair Paul Meister will oversee operations on an interim basis.
REV also says it expects Q4 revenues of $785M, below $801M from the year-earlier quarter but ahead of analyst consensus estimate of $743M, and a $60M-$80M net loss for the quarter due to a charge related to the recent tax law changes.
REV expects Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $110M-$115M vs. $115M analyst consensus.
CFO Chris Peterson also denies rumors that the company is considering a material asset transfer that would shield assets from lenders.
Rambus Inc.(NASDAQ:RMBS) shares are down 5.5% aftermarket following Q4 results that beat revenue estimates and met on EPS. In-line Q1 guidance (under ASC 605 accounting change) has revenue from $94M to $100M (consensus: $100.38M) and EPS from $0.17 to $0.23 (consensus: $0.18).
Revenue breakdown: Royalties, $77.9M (+10% Y/Y); Product, $8.5M (-27%); Contract and other revenue, $15.5M (+2%); Licensing billings, $76.6M (+18%).Key metrics: Non-GAAP operating margin, 31%; total operating expenses, $67.5M; cash and equivalents, $172.2M; cash flow from operations, $33.3M.
ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) Hits New Lows After Issuing disappointing Earnings Forecast
ADTRAN, Inc.(NASDAQ:ADTN) slumped to a 52-week low after forecasting below consensus guidance for Q4, revising its revenue estimate downward to $125M from $155M-$165M earlier and seeing EPS of ~$0.01; analysts had expected EPS of ~$0.14 and revenue of $161.2M.
ADTN also projects Q1 to come in at roughly the same as Q4, misses analyst consensus of $167.5M.
CEO Tom Stanton says Q4 results have been hurt by a merger-related review, which ADTN expects to be completed in 60-90 days, and slowdown in the spending at a domestic Tier 1 customer.
MKM Partners analyst Michael Genovese believes the customer is CenturyLink (CTL -2%), which accounted for 24% of ADTN’s total sales in 2016.
The analyst thinks the weakness should prove temporary, adding that ADTN’s performance likely will accelerate into 2019 as the company stands to benefit from 5G spending; MKM trims its ADTN target price to $25 from $27 but keeps its Buy rating.
Big IPO Coming: Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc(NASDAQ:CPXX), Moleculin Biotech’s (MBRX)
Today at 10am Eastern, Moleculin Biotech ticker symbol MBRX will debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange and is being considered as one of the most highly anticipated IPO’s of 2016 by the street. The excitement and anticipation is arising from many experts saying that Moleculin Biotech’s (MBRX) drug annamycin is far superior to Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc(NASDAQ:CPXX) drug daunorubicin.
CPXX which has been bought out by Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc – Ordinary Shares(NASDAQ:JAZZ) for $1.5 Billion Dollars last week, share price ran from $1.6 to $31 in 2 months. Moleculin Biotech’s share structure is a 1.5m public float Priced at $6.