Versartis Drops on Q3 Numbers, Hires Adviser -- Biotech Movers

 | Oct 27, 2017 | 9:35 AM EDT
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Shares of Versartis Inc. (VSAR) were down 10.9% to $2.05 ahead of the market open on Friday, Oct. 27, after the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm on Thursday reported third-quarter results and said it has hired Cowen to help with evaluating potential transactions.

The company had a net loss of about  $49.8 million, or $1.40 per share, basic and diluted, compared to a net loss of $27.3 million, or $0.92 per share, basic and diluted, in the same period last year.

The release of the third-quarter numbers came after Versartis in September said its Phase 3 study of somavaratan in pediatric growth hormone deficiency did not achieve its primary endpoint.

"In response to the disappointing outcome of the VELOCITY trial last month, we have been working diligently to understand the results and determine appropriate next steps for the company," said Versartis president and CEO Jay Shepard in a statement.

Shepard said the company is implementing a restructuring to cut costs and preserve cash. At the same time, Versartis has commenced a process to identify opportunities to diversify its pipeline, including potential strategic transactions, he said.

Meanwhile, shares of Seattle Genetics Inc. (SGEN) were up 5.6% to $64.64 after the Bothell, Wash.-based company unveiled third-quarter numbers on Thursday.

The company had revenue of $135.3 million, compared with $106.3 million in the year-ago period. Because of the gain on the Immunomedics warrant, Seattle Genetics reported net income of $50 million, or $0.34 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $31.8 million, or $0.23 per share, for the third quarter of 2016.

As part of its previously terminated license transaction with Immunomedics, Seattle Genetics holds 3 million  Immunomedics shares common stock and a warrant to purchase an additional 8.7 million shares. In September, Immunomedics' resale registration statement covering the shares issuable upon exercise of the warrant was declared effective by the SEC. As a result, the warrant is accounted for as a derivative security and marked-to-market, Seattle Genetics noted.

Among the other stock movers was MediciNova Inc. (MNOV) , up nearly 18% to $7.49. The La Jolla, Calif.-based firm on Thursday morning said its Phase 2b Trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in progressive multiple sclerosis met both primary endpoints.

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