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February Catalysts for Biotech & Pharma Stocks

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Alimera, MannKind and Genzyme will update investors, while Protalix and Germany's Merck await word on new drugs.

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February looks like a relatively light month for major decisions related to new drug approvals. However, there will be some important updates from companies developing new products. A few of them are highlighted below. As always, these dates are subject to change.

February 2
Genetic therapies developer Sangamo (SGMO) announces earnings and holds a conference call the following morning. Investors will focus on updates related to trials and potential partnership to develop lead product SB-509, a treatment for nerve damage from diabetes. The drug is only in the second of three phases of study needed for US approval but Sangamo's technology is getting a lot of attention lately from investors. The stock more than doubled in the past three months.

February 3
Alimera Sciences (ALIM) will release data on its experimental drug, Iluvien, for treatment of diabetic macular edema in an after-market conference call. Iluvien, which treats a condition in diabetics that causes blindness, was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration in December. The drug is licensed from pSivida (PSDV).

February 8
Small cap Adeona (AEN) has seen its stock almost double in the past two months, and will hold an investor day to talk about its treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

February 10
MannKind (MNKD) promises to update investors on its plans for inhaled insulin treatment Afrezza after being rejected by US officials for a second time last month. The update will be part of the company's earnings call.

February 16
Genzyme (GENZ), currently in talks with Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) about a potential sale, will report earnings and update investors on other events.

February 25
Israeli drug maker Protalix Biotherapeutics (PLX) is expecting word from the FDA on its treatment for the rare condition Gaucher disease. The drug would compete with Genzyme's Cerezyme, which was in short supply over the past couple of years because of manufacturing problems. Pfizer (PFE) will help market the product if its approved.

February 28
Germany's Merck KGaA should hear from US officials about approval of Cladribine, a pill for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. The company is in a race with Novartis (NVS) to introduce a new treatment.

Also, InterMune (ITMN) expects to hear from European regulators in February or March about approval of the lung drug Esbriet.

Officials who oversee the Medicare and Medicaid government health plans say they'll release draft guidance on paying for Dendreon's (DNDN) prostate cancer drug Provenge by March.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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