Arrowhead Research Corp. (ARWR) soars on news of positive data from weight loss drug

Posted on: November 10th, 2011
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Nanomedicine company, Arrowhead Research Corp. (Nasdaq: ARWR) announced on Thursday that data from its subsidiary’s obesity drug demonstrated weight loss, reduction in body mass index and abdominal circumference in obese rhesus monkeys.

The data, which was published in Science Translational Medicine (Sci Trans Med 3, 108ra112 (2011) DOI: 10.1126/scitraslmed-3002621), demonstrates that monkeys treated with Adipotide lost an average of 11 percent of their body weight after only four weeks of treatment.

Adipotide-treated animals also showed marked improvements in insulin resistance, suggesting the potential for use in treating type-2 diabetes.

Shares of the Pasadena-based Arrowhead Research Corp. touched a new 52-week high of $1.19 on Thursday, up 120 percent from Wednesday’s c losing price of $0.54.

“Safely and effectively treating the obesity epidemic is one of the great unmet needs in medicine today,” said Dr. Christopher Anzalone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arrowhead in a November 10 press release. “This study is a radical step forward for both Ablaris’ technology and the treatment of obesity.It is uncommon for an obesity treatment to be successfully translated from rodent studies to non-human primates. Ablaris’ approach is distinguished from others in the field by its unique mode of action. By acting directly on the vasculature that supports fat tissue rather than on the brain, we believe that we can avoid many of the safety issues that have blocked other anti-obesity drug candidates. We are extremely encouraged by the results achieved to date with Adipotide and believe that Ablaris’ unique technology offers a significant advantage to combating obesity as we prepare to enter the clinic in the near-term.”

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Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI) reports record Q3 revenue

Posted on: November 3rd, 2011
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Waste management and engineering services company Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: PESI) reported record third quarter revenue thanks in large part to increased treatment of higher activity and more complex waste streams.

The Atlanta-based company reported third quarter revenue of $32.8 million, a 43 percent increase over revenue of $22.9 million in the same period last year. Revenue for the Nuclear Segment increased 44.0% to $32.1 million from $22.3 million for the same period in 2010. Revenue generated from the DOE Hanford Site increased approximately $787,000 for the quarter while $9.0 million was derived from an increase in waste processed at our treatment facilities. Revenue from the Engineering Segment increased to $701,000 from $581,000 for the same period in 2010.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 increased to $6.0 million, or $0.11 per share, versus a net loss of $1.1 million or $0.02 per share, for the same period in 2010. Net income for the third quarter of 2011 included a gain on the sale of PFFL of approximately $1.8 million, partially offset by a loss from discontinued operations of $187,000.

“The second half of 2011 is proving to be one of the strongest periods in our history and we believe this demonstrates that our strategy is working,” said Perma-Fix Environmental Services’ chairman and CEO,  Dr. Louis F. Centofanti in a November 3 press release.

“We also improved our balance sheet during the quarter. As a result of our strong cash flow, coupled with the recent sale of Fort Lauderdale facility, we had over $10.7 million of cash and just $5.7 million of total debt at the end of the third quarter.”

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RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXII) clinical trials to continue, shares jump

Posted on: September 12th, 2011
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RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq: RXII) shares gained 12% to $1.12 Monday, after favorable news about the company’s breast cancer vaccine trial. Volume for the stock exceeded 3.5 million shares, compared to a daily average of 722,000.

A story published Monday in Boston Business Journal revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug administration has cleared the way for the start of Rxi to launch its Phase 3 trial studying a potential vaccine for a certain type of breast cancer.

If successful, the vaccine would provide an alternative for women who have low to intermediate expression of the HER2 mutation, and are not eligible for the blockbuster drug Herceptin, made by Swiss drug maker Roche AG.

The FDA has now lifted a partial clinical hold the agency put on the chemistry, manufacturing and controls associated with the vaccine trial.

Worcester, Mass.-based RXi acquired the potential vaccine, called NeuVax, when it bought Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Apthera. As part of the deal, Apthera’s shareholders initially received approximately 4.8 million shares of Worcester, Mass.-based RXi’s common stock, worth $7.2 million at the time, on March 30. The deal closed in April. Apthera’s stockholders will also be entitled to contingent payments tied to clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones connected to NeuVax.

The partial clinical hold was placed on the vaccine candidate before it was acquired by RXi, and its lifting will allow the company to start its Phase 3 trial in the first half of 2012. The study is expected to include about 100 trial sties in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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5 penny stocks gaining ground on Thursday – HAUP, NMTI, LXRX, IBCP, SOPW

Posted on: January 6th, 2011
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Hauppauge Digital, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAUP) advanced as much as 55 percent from Wednesday’s closing price on Thursday, after the maker of TV tuners for PCs, unveiled new devices for streaming live television over laptops and Apple Inc’s iPad and iPhone. This new stand alone “box” from Hauppauge’s PCTV Systems division, called Broadway, allows live TV to be watched on an Apple device in the home through a WiFi connection, or anywhere in the world via an Internet connection. One of the key technologies within Broadway is a high-quality, high definition H.264 video compressor, which can take TV programs from clear QAM digital cable TV or ATSC over-the-air TV and “shrink” these programs into a form which can be displayed on an Apple device.

Shares of medical products maker, NMT Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMTI) were up as much as 57 percent from Wednesday’s close after the company announced a new $2 million credit facility with LSQ Funding Group, L.C., a Florida-based firm that specializes in providing financing to small- and medium-sized businesses. NMT Medical is an advanced medical technology company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary implant technologies that allow interventional cardiologists to treat structural heart disease through minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: LXRX) shares soared as much as 36 percent on Thursday on the news that the company would commence development of a tablet version of its drug for type-2 diabetes. Lexicon reported that the drug, LX4211, had presented promising data in a mid-stage study, it would begin another mid-stage study in Q2 2011. Lexicon reported that a double dose of the 150 milligram tablet form of the drug quickly lowered blood sugar levels in patients compared to studies using a lower dosage liquid form of the drug. Shares of LXRX are up about 28 percent in the past three months.

Independent Bank Corporation (Nasdaq: IBCP) traded up as much as 50 percent on nearly 10x the company’s average three-month volume on Thursday. Shares climbed as high as $2.44, up from Wednesday’s closing price of $1.62. IBCP reported a net loss to common shareholders of $15.9 million during the first three quarters of 2010, or $3.71 a share, better than a net loss of $45.3 million, or $19.02 a share, a year earlier. The shares underwent a reverse 10 to 1 split in August. Total assets were $2.7 billion as of September 30. The company owes $72 million in TARP money and has deferred its last three dividend payments on preferred shares held by the government, according to

Our final big mover under $5 today is Solar Power, Inc. (OTCBB: SOPW). Shares climbed as high as $0.62 on Thursday, up 67 percent from Wednesday’s closing price of $0.37 per share. Volume was nearly 30-times the company’s average three month volume. Shares soared on Thursday after it was announced that Chinese solar company, LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) agreed to acquire a 70 percent interest in Solar Power Inc. for about $33 million. LDK will also purchase certain components of Solar Power’s manufacturing equipment, and will assume control of its module manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. Shares of SOPW are up about 140 percent over the past three months.

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Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) skyrockets on rumors of FDA approval

Posted on: October 29th, 2010
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A late-breaking report posted on had Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVNR) abuzz in after-hours trading Friday. The financial news website reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Avanir’s Nuedexta, a treatment for a relatively common, yet under-recognized neurological disorder known as Pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

Shares of Avanir were up 15 percent on Friday, in what has been a particularly rough quarter for pharmaceutical stocks. Before Friday, shares of Avanir Pharmaceuticals were down about 13 percent in the past three months.

In a statement, Keith Katkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avanir said “The FDA approval of Nuedexta marks an important milestone for people living with PBA, an under-recognized and debilitating neurologic condition. The approval of Nuedexta also marks Avanir’s transition toward becoming a commercial enterprise, ready to support the successful launch of the first FDA-approved treatment for PBA. We expect that Nuedexta will be available by prescription during the first quarter of 2011.”

Formerly known as AVP-923, is a combination of two-well researched components, the active ingredient dextromethorphan, and the enzyme inhibitor quinidine, which serves to increase the bioavailability of dextromethorphan. Avanir is developing Nuedexta for use in PBA and diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a neurologic disorder characterized by involuntary crying or uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional displays, the condition is also referred to as emotional incontinence. Research suggests that as many as 1.5 million and 2 million people may be afflicted with PBA in the United States alone, although, it is estimated that the number could be much higher due the prevalence of PBA in numerous neurological conditions.

Independent research firm for the healthcare industry, SummerStreet Research Partners predicted such an approval, on October 15. Analyst Carol Werther stated in a note to clients: “We expect a label to treat the signs and symptoms of PBA with warnings not to use with drugs that increase QTc wave prolongation,” the note stated. “Data from the advanced cardiac safety study (ACSS) indicates that AVP-923, even using a 10mg dose of quinidine, still prolongs the QTc (mean of 8.9 ms), just above the level the FDA considers no risk for Torsades de Pointes. (5 msec). Nevertheless, we do not think this will stop approval as many marketed drugs have similar profiles. AVNR submitted a risk map program to prevent abuse of AVP-923.”

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TeamStaff, Inc. (TSTF) shares rebound slightly on news of executive leadership changes

Posted on: September 23rd, 2010
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TeamStaff, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSTF), reached 60 cents today after dipping to 54 cents at Friday’s close, after announcing this morning the appointment of Mr. John E. Kahn as Chief Financial Officer. TeamStaff, a leading logistics and healthcare services provider to the Federal Government and Department of Defense, conducted the executive search with the assistance of DHR International.

Bringing over 25 years of financial experience to the corporation, Mr. Kahn will be responsible for all elements of accounting and finance for the organization. Leading up to his appointment at TeamStaff, Mr. Kahn served as CFO of Financial Asset Management Systems, an American Capital backed government and business services group. Furthermore, Kahn has over a decade of experience as a CFO and extensive experience in publicly traded organizations. Mr. Kahn began his career with what is now BAE Systems, before joining a large public accounting firm.

Zach Parker, Chief Executive Officer of TeamStaff commented on Kahn’s appointment, stating, “We are delighted to welcome John to TeamStaff. With his appointment, we are in an even stronger position to deliver on our objective of becoming a nationally recognized leader with the Federal Government and DoD in the logistics and healthcare fields.”

Mr. Kahn holds leadership roles with several professional associations including Financial Executives International (FEI), the Association of Chartered Accountants in the United States (ACAUS) and the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

“John not only has a proven track record in corporate finance, growing businesses and managing complex capital structures, but he also has a depth of financial and operational experience in the government services and defense industries that will be invaluable in helping TeamStaff achieve its business objectives,” Parker concluded.

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About Penny Stocks

The term "penny stocks," also known as micro-cap equities, micro caps, small caps, pink sheets, refers to shares in a company that trades for less than $5.00. Most penny stocks trade on the OTCBB market and the pink sheet electronic quotation service. Penny Stocks can be very volatile and can see gains as much as 500% in a day. Volatility in penny stocks is also dangerous because penny stocks can come down as quickly as they go up. If you trade penny stocks based on stock picks, make sure to always do your due diligence on the companies you're considering, use stop loss orders, and book your profits when you are in a position to do so.