DARA reverse split; Icahn drops buyback; SAS a leader in MRM; Heat Bio hire; PRA honor; Novozymes, Monsanto deal
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Research Triangle Park, N.C. — The latest life sciences and technology news in WRALTechWire's Bulldog Bulletin roundup:
- DARA BioSciences completes 1-for-5 reverse stock split
RALEIGH – DARA BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: DARA) has effected a 1-for-5 reverse stock split of its issued and outstanding common stock.
As of Monday, each five shares of issued and outstanding common stock and equivalents was converted into one share of common stock. DARA, which markets several oncology or oncology support products, has been struggling to comply with the Nasdaq's minimum share price of at least $1. Following the reverse stock split, DARA closed Tuesday at $2.65, down 2 cents from Monday's closing price.
- Icahn to Drop Apple Buyback Proposal After ISS ‘No’ Vote
NEW YORK – Activist investor Carl Icahn said he will drop his campaign urging Apple Inc. to buy back $50 billion of stock this year, citing recent repurchases and the opposition of a proxy-advisory firm.
The billionaire as recently as last week publicly agitated the company to buy back more stock, after saying in December he would seek a shareholder vote to unlock cash held by Cupertino, California-based Apple, which had $159 billion in cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 28.
The iPhone maker bought $14 billion of its own shares after reporting earnings Jan. 28, bringing its repurchases to more than $40 billion in the past 12 months. That compares with Icahn’s most recent recommendation that Apple complete a $50 billion share repurchase over the course of fiscal 2014, according to an open letter he sent Apple shareholders in January.
On Monday, influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended that investors vote against Icahn’s proposal, saying such a motion would “micromanage” how the company uses capital. Icahn said last month he increased his Apple stake by $500 million to about $3.6 billion.
“We see no reason to persist with our nonbinding proposal, especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target,” Icahn said in a letter to Apple shareholders Tuesday.
- SAS a “Leader” in Marketing Resource Management: Gartner
CARY – SAS is a leader in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management (MRM)1 and has been included in the report since its inception. SAS’ integrated MRM software streamlines and automates marketing processes and workflows, increasing marketing efficiency and accountability.
SAS’ flagship MRM solution, SAS® Marketing Operations Management, helps marketing departments improve their process efficiency and demonstrate greater accountability by optimizing marketing operations from end to end — from strategic planning and financial management capabilities; marketing fulfillment; creative production management; marketing reporting and analytics, and marketing asset management.
CMOs are facing growing pressure to improve the financial and operational aspects of their marketing activities—all while delivering personalized interactions in a digital world. An IDC 2013 CMO Barometer Survey2 revealed that marketing functions can cost anywhere from 2 to 10 percent of a company’s revenue to operate.
- Heat Biologics appoints vice president of manufacturing
CHAPEL HILL – Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX) has appointed Robert E. Corder to become the cancer immunotherapy developer vice president of manufacturing to lead Heat's ongoing manufacturing efforts.
Corder brings to more than 20 years of global and U.S. expertise in bioprocess scale up, manufacturing and cGMP production for new vaccine candidates. His appointment comes as Heat prepares to ramp up production of its lead cancer treatment candidate for clinical testing. The company is testing HS-110 for lung cancer and HS-410 for bladder cancer.
- PRA named ‘International Clinical Company of the Year’
RALEIGH – Clinical research organization PRA has been named the 2014 International Clinical Company of the Year by PharmaTimes.
The honor was determined by the total points earned by PRA employees’ performances in individual competitions. Eight PRA employees across six categories were invited to attend the in-person finals competition. They competed in a rigorous three-phase process, consisting of an ICH-GCP quiz, a four-part essay question designed to test the applicant in his or her own discipline and a live final with real-life scenarios.
"The awards are a great reflection of our employees' focus on quality and their passion for working through the drug development process to help bring safe and effective treatments to market that improve the quality of life for patients," said Sean Leech, PRA executive vice president of product registration – Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. "Being named both International and U.S. Clinical Company of the Year is a global achievement that speaks to the level of commitment and dedication to our employees and customers."
- Novozymes, Monsanto close on bioag alliance
FRANKLINTON – Novozymes (NASDAQ OMX: NZYM B) and Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) have completed the closing of a bioagricultural alliance that the two companies had announced in December.
In the alliance, the companies will work together to discover, develop and commercialize microbials that could be used to protect crops against disease and pests. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
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