FDA Green Lights Biogen’s (BIIB) Spinal Disease Drug; CITIC Capital Sees Potential in Bitauto Holdings (BITA)

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave green light Friday to Spinraza (nusinersen) – marketed by Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq:BIIB) and developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:IONS) – becoming the first drug approved for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects the control of muscle movement.

Biogen acquired global licensing rights to Spinraza from Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and the FDA’s approval of the drug triggered a milestone payment of $60 million for Ionis – eligible to receive tiered sales royalties on future product sales – from Biogen.

BIIB stock surged 1.58% (or +$4.46) to $287.53 with a total volume of 1.12M shares traded on Friday.

Biogen, which discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions, and autoimmune disorders, has 217.57M shares outstanding, market capitalization (intraday) of $62.56B and BIIB stock 52-week range is from $223.02 to $333.65 per share.

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After the closing bell Friday, CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd. disclosed in a regulatory filing ( SC 13D/A ) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has increased its stake in Bitauto Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:BITA) to 9.1% (6,403,295 shares) from the 7.1% stake (5,050,988 shares) previously reported to the SEC by the alternative investment management and advisory firm.

BITA stock finished the regular session in positive territory by 2.55% (or +$0.51) at $20.49, and 1.15M of its shares changed hands during the day, representing a large increase in activity versus its average volume (3m) of 645,780 shares.

Bitauto Holdings, which provides Internet content and marketing services for the automotive industry in China, has 70.73M shares outstanding, market capitalization (intraday) of $1.45B and BITA stock one-year range is between $16.09 and $33.16 per share.

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