January 12, 2015 / 12:17 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-NPS Pharma, Foundation Medicine, Biogen

7 Min Read

(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index e-mini futures rose on Monday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.52 percent at 17,741, S&P 500 futures were up 0.55 percent at 2,046.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.54 percent at 4,223.5.

** NPS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $41.91, +8.76 pct premarket

British drugmaker Shire Plc has agreed to buy U.S. group NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion, its biggest acquisition yet as it seeks to strengthen its position in the lucrative field of medicines for rare diseases. Shire will pay $46 per NPS share, representing a premium of nearly 10 percent to NPS's Friday close, the two companies said on Sunday.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, Friday close $60.32, +5.69 pct premarket

The pharmaceutical company said the independent data monitoring committee concluded that a late-stage study evaluating Opdivo versus docetaxel in previously treated patients with advanced, squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer met its endpoint.

** FOUNDATION MEDICINE INC, Friday close $23.93, +107.90 pct premarket

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG will acquire a majority stake in molecular and genomic analysis firm Foundation Medicine for up to $1.18 billion, it said on Monday, in a move to bolster its personalized cancer treatments.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, Friday close $342.34, +1.35 pct premarket

The biotech company said on Sunday it would buy small, privately-held Convergence Pharmaceuticals to acquire the U.K.-based company's portfolio of experimental drugs for chronic nerve pain.

** MERCK & CO, Friday close $62.56, +1.10 pct premarket

The drugmaker has put on fast track its plans to submit new drugs for hepatitis C and lung cancer for regulatory approval, in an attempt to close the gap with competitors in two lucrative segments, the Wall Street Journal reported.

** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, Friday close $15.7, +31.85 pct premarket

The Canadian drugmaker agreed to buy Pennsylvania-based OnCore Biopharma Inc to focus on developing hepatitis B virus treatment by combining multiple therapeutic methods. The implied market value of the merged company is about $750 million, based on Tekmira stock's closing price of $15.70 on the Nasdaq on Jan. 9, the companies said in a statement.

** JD.COM INC, Friday close $24.94, +1.24 pct premarket

The Chinese e-commerce company has ratcheted up competition with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd through a $1.55 billion deal with an online car sales portal, as the e-commerce giants gun for high-value markets like cars, tourism and homes.

** BP PLC, Friday close $36.58, -1.12 pct premarket

** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, Friday close $79.14

BP and Anadarko narrowly failed to persuade a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, Friday close $65.34, +1.78 pct premarket

United Airlines has paid a premium to dump old losing bets on higher oil prices, and is reviewing its strategy for insulating itself from oil market volatility, in a sign of how some airlines' efforts to hedge their fuel costs have backfired.

** PETROBRAS SA, Friday close $7.06, -2.12 pct premarket

The Brazilian state-run oil company has asked contractors implicated in a kickback scheme with it to admit guilt and pay damages in return for lifting a ban on bidding for future contracts, Estado de S.Paulo reported on Saturday.

** ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, Friday close $64.22, -1.12 pct premarket

The oil and gas producer will cut 5-10 percent of the just over 3,000 jobs at its Albian Sands mining project in northern Alberta, a company spokesman said on Friday, although he refrained from connecting the move to plunging oil prices.

** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Friday close $69.44, +1.51 pct premarket

The drugmaker said on Monday its MedImmune biotech unit had struck a deal with unlisted U.S. company Omnis Pharmaceuticals on the development of cancer-fighting oncolytic viruses.

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Friday close $104.94, +0.31 pct premarket

The drugmaker boosted its research efforts in Alzheimer's on Monday by striking a deal potentially worth up to $509 million with unlisted Swiss biotech firm AC Immune to develop so-called anti-tau vaccines. Tau is a protein known for forming tangles inside brain cells and is linked to cell death. It is one of two abnormal proteins tied to the memory-robbing disease.

** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, Friday close $68.12

** DOLLAR TREE INC, Friday close $69.46

** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, Friday close $77.99

Discount store chain Dollar Tree said it expected to divest fewer than 300 stores to buy larger rival Family Dollar, and had already identified potential buyers. Dollar Tree, which had 5,282 stores in the United States and Canada as of Nov. 1, said it would likely sign an agreement by the end of the month with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the number of stores it would have to divest.

Some 20 state attorneys general have joined the federal antitrust investigation of competing bids by Dollar General and Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar, a development that potentially complicates the companies' efforts to win U.S. approval for a deal.

** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $411.04

The European Medicines Agency has agreed to review an application by Sanofi SA and Regeneron for their cholesterol-lowering drug alirocumab, the pharmaceutical groups said in a statement on Monday.

** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Friday close $103.02, +0.56 pct premarket

The Chinese company is in talks with the South Korean city of Incheon for a 1 trillion won (about $923 million) joint investment on a new business complex, the Dong-A Ilbo daily reported on Monday.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Friday close $35.59

The carmaker is giving its German Opel unit a new job - build Buick models to sell in the United States as part of a strategy to make good on Chief Executive Mary Barra's promise to make money in Europe by 2016.

** SUNEDISON INC, Friday close $19.42

The solar power firm and Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises plan to invest up to $4 billion in what would be one of India's largest solar panel makers, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts an investment summit. (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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