IDX184 Clinical Trial Halted by FDA|
On news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration partially halted a Phase II
clinical trial for the drug IDX184 over safety concerns, shares of Idenix
Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) were lower by 30% into mid-afternoon trading on Thursday.
The FDA placed a 'partial hold' on the trial pending the evaluation of reports
that one of the patients taking the treatment had suffered a severe cardiac
event. Additionally, the FDA requested that Idenix provide additional patient
data to help the agency with its evaluation. Idenix has been testing the product
for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. IDX184 belongs to a newer
class of HCV drugs known as nucleotides.
As the post-initial public offering lockup on about 271 million expired shares
of Facebook Inc. (FB), share price moved to record low on Thursday, as shares
became available for insiders to sell to the open market. Before the 3:00 pm
Eastern Time hour struck, shares hit an intraday low of $19.69. Since its IPO in
May, Facebook shares have lost almost 50% of their per share opening day price.
Before the end of the year as the lockup deadlines expire, shares could feel
more pressure as more than 1.3 billion shares are expected to be made available
to the market. According a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, nearly 243 million shares - including shares held by former and
current Facebook employees - will be unlocked between October15 and November 13.
The biggest wave of shares are expected to come available after November 14 when
the lockup deadline on nearly 1.2 billion shares expire; on December 14 nearly
149 million shares will be unlocked and in May 2013 nearly 47 million shares
will become available.
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) was fined $2 million by the Securities and Exchange
Commission for allegedly violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by
failing to prevent a division of the business from 'secretly' putting aside
money off of the company's books that was later used to make 'unauthorized'
payments to purportedly phony vendors in India. Marc Fagel, director of the
SEC's San Francisco Regional Office, in a statement said, "Through its
subsidiary's use of secret cash cushions, Oracle exposed itself to the risk that
these hidden funds would be put to illegal use. It is important for U.S.
companies to proactively establish policies and procedures to minimize the
potential for payments to foreign officials or other unauthorized uses of
Construction of new houses retreated in July after hitting the highest level of
activity seen in nearly four years in June, the Commerce Department estimated
Thursday. Housing starts fell 1.1% in July to an annualized rate of 746,000
units. Starts had in June were revised higher by 6.8% to a 754,000 rate,
striking highest level since October 2008. Housing starts of single-family homes
are up 17.0%. Building permits increased 6.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 812,000 in July striking highest level since August 2008. Building
permits for single-family homes rose 4.5% to 513,000 in July. Starts of new
single-family homes fell by 6.5% to rate of 502,000 in July following a 4.7%
increase to a 537,000 rate in June. Starts of large apartment units rose 12.4%
to a rate of 244,000 in July, mirroring a 12.4% gain in June.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that first-time claims for state
unemployment benefits in the week ending August 11 rose 2,000 to 366,000
resulting in the four-week average falling by 5,500 to 363,750 - striking lowest
level since week ended March 31. Claims in previous week were revised to a drop
of 4,000 to 364,000 compared with the initial estimate of a drop of 6,000 to
The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index in August came in at negative 7.1 vs.
negative 12.9 in July, marking fourth consecutive negative reading.
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Aug 16, 2012