Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vertex Pharmaceutical's (Nasdaq: VRTX) drug approved to treat cystic fibrosis' root cause

Vertex Pharmaceutical's (Nasdaq: VRTX) drug approved to treat cystic fibrosis' root causeNorthern, WI 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- The first drug that treats the root cause of cystic fibrosis won approval Tuesday, offering a life-changing treatment for a handful of patients with the deadly illness and broader hope for thousands more patients with the inherited disease.

About 30,000 Americans live with cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes sticky mucus buildup in the lungs and other organs, leading to infections, digestive problems and death in young adulthood. The typical life expectancy is about 37 years, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The Food and Drug approved Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (Nasdaq: VRTX) Kalydeco to improve lung function and reduce other symptoms in patients with a rare variant of the disease that affects just 1,200 people in the U.S., about 4 percent of affected population nationwide. These patients have a protein defect that prevents their cells from properly absorbing and excreting salt and water.

"Even though this drug isn't for the majority of people, it proves that you can look at the mistake in the genes and design a drug in a rational way that will fix the problem," said Dr. Drucy Borowitz of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she directs the cystic fibrosis program.

Kalydeco is among the first drugs designed to a correct a specific genetic defect. Its development characterizes both the promise and challenges of that approach. Scientists first identified the gene that causes cystic fibrosis in 1989, but it took more than two decades and more than $75 million in outside funding to develop a drug to treat the disease.

Borowitz enrolled several of her patients in the key study for Kalydeco, which showed that patients taking the drug increased their lung strength more than 10 percent when compared with patients taking a placebo. Patients also had fewer infections and gained nearly seven pounds on average, a significant amount for patients who typically have trouble retaining weight. All patients in the study continued taking older medications that help loosen mucus.

"Two weeks after using the drug my lung tests were above average for a healthy 15-year-old who didn't have cystic fibrosis," said Nick Mangano, 17, a Borowitz patient who has been taking the drug for two years. Before starting on Kalydeco, Mangano said he was hospitalized for lung infections five times in four years. Now he says he usually recovers from a cold within a week or two.

"I don't really need medicine for it anymore, it's totally different," said Mangano, who is considering leaving Buffalo for college next year — a step he hadn't previously considered because of his dependence on his family and physicians.

Only a few decades ago, children with cystic fibrosis seldom survived elementary school. Today, thanks to earlier diagnosis and new focus on diet and physical therapy, 47 percent live to be 18 or older.

The FDA approved the drug for patients six years old and up, though Vertex is also studying the drug in younger patients. Researchers hope that by using the drug earlier they will be able to prevent permanent lung damage, which is the primary cause of death for cystic fibrosis patients.

Mangano and others with the so-called G551D mutation have a defective protein that fails to balance the flow of chloride and water across the cell wall, leading to the buildup of internal mucus. The vast majority of cystic fibrosis patients have a different genetic defect, in which the protein does not reach the cell wall. Vertex is developing another drug to try and address that problem. Study data for that drug is expected later this year.
Kalydeco is part of a growing number of new medicines that target rare genetic variations found in subgroups of patients. Last year Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) launched a new lung cancer drug called Xalkori, which targets cancer linked to a genetic mutation found in less than 7 percent of patients.

After scientists identified the genetic sequence that causes cystic fibrosis in 1989, many experts hoped the disease could be cured by replacing the gene with a normal one. However, attempts at so-called gene therapy proved unsuccessful, and researchers began looking for ways to correct the genetic defect.

"I think it took the field about a decade to realize we had to look for other options," said Paul Negulescu, vice president of research at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

In 1998, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation approached Aurora BioSciences, now part of Vertex, to help screen potential drug candidates for a cystic fibrosis drug. In 2000, the foundation awarded the company more than $45 million to study and commercialize an experimental drug for the disease, the largest grant of its kind by a nonprofit disease group. To date, Vertex has received over $75 million in research and development funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex has only one other drug on the market, the hepatitis C drug Incivek, which launched last May.

The most common side effects with Kalydeco were headache, stomach ache, rash diarrhea and dizziness.

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Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) Q4 loss widens

Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) Q4 loss widensNorthern, WI 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- U.S. homebuilder Meritage Homes Corp (NYSE: MTH) reported a net loss in the fourth quarter due to charges resulting from the closing of its Las Vegas operations, and said it expects earnings and revenue to grow in 2012.

Meritage's fourth-quarter net loss was $11.8 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $895,000, or 3 cents a share, a year ago.

Results include a $13.9 million impairment charge from the previously announced closing of its Las Vegas business.

Home closing revenue rose 14 percent to $245.7 million for the October-December period, while orders increased 5 percent.

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Ceva's (Nasdaq: CEVA) chips sizzle on smartphone, tablet demand

Ceva's (Nasdaq: CEVA) chips sizzle on smartphone, tablet demandNorthern, WI 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Israeli mobile chip company Ceva Inc (Nasdaq: CEVA) beat expectations in the fourth quarter, with rising profit and record sales due to growing demand for smartphones and tablets that use its chips.

Diluted earnings per share excluding one-time items reached 26 cents in the fourth quarter, up from 19 cents a year earlier. Revenue grew 22 percent to a record $16 million.

Ceva had been expected to earn 22 cents a share excluding one-off items on revenue of $14.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Companies such as Intel, Broadcom, Spreadtrum and ST Ericsson license Ceva's technology to build chips known as digital signal processors (DSP).

Ceva is benefiting from soaring sales of smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Droid Charge, which use its technology through suppliers such as Intel and ST Ericsson.

"Ceva-powered cellular baseband processor shipments increased for the 12th consecutive quarter and continued to drive growth for us in every segment of the wireless market, from low-cost feature phones through to 4G LTE smartphones and tablets," CEO Gideon Wertheizer said.

"We also continued our strategic expansion into new markets during the quarter, with customer wins for smart TV and connectivity applications."

In 2011 Ceva's customers supplied more than 1 billion chips based on its technology, up from 613 million in 2010, he said.

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AcelRx (Nasdaq: ACRX) Announces its ARX-01 Phase 3 Program Expected to Start Late Q1 or Early Q2 2012

AcelRx (Nasdaq: ACRX) Announces its ARX-01 Phase 3 Program Expected to Start Late Q1 or Early Q2 2012Orlando, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- AcelRxPharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain, reported that the two remaining items required by the FDA prior to the initiation of the Phase 3 clinical program for ARX-01, specifically software verification and validation of the ARX-01 system, are progressing. AcelRx believes that dosing of the first patient in the first ARX-01 Phase 3 study should occur either late Q1 or early Q2 2012. The ARX-01 Phase 3 program is comprised of three studies – a placebo-controlled post-operative pain study following major abdominal surgery, a placebo-controlled study in patients after major orthopedic surgery and an active comparator study comparing the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System to intravenous morphine patient-controlled analgesia in post-operative patients.

About AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Based in Redwood City, CA, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain. AcelRx's lead product candidate, the ARX-01 Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System, which is in preparation for Phase 3 clinical development, is designed to solve the problems associated with post-operative intravenous patient-controlled analgesia which has been shown to cause harm to patients following surgery because of the side effects of morphine, the invasive IV route of delivery and the inherent potential for programming and delivery errors associated with the complexity of infusion pumps. AcelRx has two additionalproduct candidates which have completed Phase 2 clinical development: ARX-02 for the treatment of cancer breakthrough pain, and ARX-03 for providing mild sedation, anxiety reduction and pain relief for patients undergoing painful procedures in a physician's office. A fourth product candidate, ARX-04, is a sufentanil product for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain that is expected to enter Phase 2 clinical development in the first quarter of 2012 under a grant from the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, or USAMRMC.

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Vringo (AMEX: VRNG) Launches New Version of Facetones Customized for Latest Nokia Mobile Devices

Vringo (AMEX: VRNG) Launches New Version of Facetones Customized for Latest Nokia Mobile DevicesOrlando, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Vringo, Inc. (Amex: VRNG), a provider of software platforms for mobile social and video applications, today announced it has released a new version of Facetones™ customized for the latest mobile devices released by Nokia, the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones.

The Facetones™ app is integrated with Facebook® and generates an automatic, visually exciting slideshow of photos displaying your friend's face and other social content each time you communicate with that friend using your mobile device. With Vringo's latest version of Facetones™, the application is now fully optimized for Nokia's Symbian^3 operating system, including its latest Anna and Belle extensions, which were released in the second half of 2011.

As the most up-to-date versions to the Symbian^3 operating system, Anna and Belle offer the sleekest user interface and richest on-screen media of any Nokia Symbian device, which enables Vringo's Facetones™ to offer more comprehensive social app and call experiences for users of the latest Symbian phones, such as the Nokia 603, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701. As part of its launch, the new version of Facetones™ is being rolled out this month to the Nokia Store, as well as major global app stores and content discovery sites worldwide.

"We are pleased to announce our new version of Facetones™ and the enhanced features and compatibility the update brings to Nokia devices," said Vringo's CEO, Jon Medved. "The ongoing innovation that Vringo brings to the latest Symbian handsets further solidifies our commitment to delivering best-of-breed video and social experiences to Nokia users around the world, especially in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe."

Andrew Perlman, Vringo's President, added "Since 2007, Vringo has developed Symbian versions of its Video Ringtone, Fan Loyalty, and Facetones™ apps for S40, S60, and Symbian^3 devices, potentially reaching over 1 million Nokia users and enhancing many calls along the way."

Facetones™ is a trademark of Vringo, Inc. and is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook® nor is Facebook® affiliated with Vringo, Inc.

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Alliqua, Inc. (OTCBB: ALQA) Provides Corporate Update, Plans for 2012

Alliqua, Inc. (OTCBB: ALQA) Provides Corporate Update, Plans for 2012Palm Beach, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Alliqua, Inc. (OTCBB:ALQA), an advanced biomedical products company focused on the development and manufacturing of proprietary drug delivery and liver health technologies, today announced its business objectives for 2012 and reviewed its achievements in 2011.

The Company said a major objective in the next year is to leverage the development progress made with respect to its transdermal postherpetic neuralgia ("PHN") pain patch to establish strategic marketing relationships for the product. Management believes that the global value of the PHN pain patch market today is in excess of US$ 1 billion. In the Company's initial dissolution and in vivostudies, the Alliqua patch demonstrated results that were competitive with the market leading product.

A second major objective in the next year is to aggressively roll out the Company's silver based antimicrobial hydrogel dressing for which it has acquired the exclusive license rights to the 510k. The introduction of the Company's hydrogel dressings will allow the Company to enter the $11.8 billion wound care market directly. Initially, the target markets for the product are intended to include diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, burns and post surgical applications. Management estimates that the number of diabetic ulcers in the U.S. is in excess of 2.5 million wounds and that there are over 30 million surgical procedures done in the US each year.

"Achievement of our objectives for 2012 will transform our Company," said David Stefansky, Alliqua's Chairman. "The larger goal is to establish an appropriate strategic relationship for the distribution of the PHN pain patch globally and the corresponding regulatory approvals."

Richard Rosenblum, Alliqua's President added: "In 2011, Alliqua made significant progress in vertically integrating its manufacturing capabilities, validating its manufacturing processes, ensuring regulatory compliance with respect to the manufacture of its wound care products, and applying for the appropriate registrations and approvals associated with medical insurance reimbursement and the ability to sell directly to the US government. There appears to be significant interest in the SilverSeal(R) Hydrogel Dressing, particularly within the diabetic community."

SilverSeal(R) Hydrogel Dressing is expected be available in the US at the beginning of Q2 2012. The Company said that in 2012 it intends to aggressively pursue distribution contracts. Plans for infrastructure expansion, including the addition of manufacturing capacity and hiring of key senior personnel, are also at an advanced stage.

2011 Achievements
• Completed a comparative dissolution study of the PHN pain patch which resulted in a favorable profile when compared to the market leading product for treatment of PHN pain
• In the comparative in vitro permeation study, the Alliqua PHN pain patch demonstrated mean cumulative drug permeation that was competitive with the market leading product
• Filed a series of patents related to its transdermal drug delivery platform
• Acquired from Noble Biomaterials, Inc. an exclusive 10 year global license for two wound care dressings which utilize X-STATIC(R), Noble Biomaterial's proprietary silver-based antimicrobial fiber
• Expanded its manufacturing capabilities to vertically integrate its existing hydrogel roll stock capabilities with cutting and packaging capabilities
• Completed its process and manufacturing validations with respect to its vertical integration of its manufacturing capabilities
• Increased revenues from its contract manufacturing business by 38%
• Began to realize revenue from its newly developed conductive hydrogel, targeted at the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ("T.E.N.S.") electrode market

2012 Goals and Objectives
• Establish a strategic alliance for the further development and distribution of the PHN pain patch
• Complete investigational new drug ("IND")submission to the FDA for the PHN pain patch
• Initiate first-in-man clinical trial for the PHN pain patch
• Complete sterilization and shelf life studies of the SilverSeal(R) Hydrogel Dressing
• Establish distribution partners for the SilverSeal(R) Hydrogel Dressing and commence sales
• Pursue additional registrations and distribution contracts in new countries
2011 Preliminary Shipment and Revenue Results

Unaudited preliminary revenues for 2011 were approximately $1.8 million, compared to $1.3 million in 2010 representing an increase of approximately 38%. Final audited numbers for the year will be announced when the Company reports year-end 2011 earnings in March.

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Advance America Cash Advance Centers (AEA) Stock Chart Analysis Video

The AEA chart is holding over the 200 day moving average and a support level at $7.60. The MACD and RSI are giving hints of a shift in momentum and trend which will have traders looking for the support to hold and upward pressure to test resistance more than 10 percent away at $8.80.

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Options Media (PK: OPMG) Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Illume Software

Options Media (PK: OPMG) Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Illume SoftwareTallahassee, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Options Media Group Holdings, Inc.(Pinksheets: OPMG) has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Illume Software, Inc., a Boston-based mobile software company, whose iZup software is a responsible solution to cell phone-related distracted driving. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the merger, which is expected to close by February 12, 2012, subject to various closing conditions, including the approval of Illume shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Illume will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Options Media. The shareholders of Illume will own 40% of the post-merger company. The completion of the acquisition is contingent on Options Media receiving financing in connection with the acquisition and for ongoing operating costs.

The agreement calls for a combination of the two company's boards of directors and management teams at the Options Media level. Upon closing, Daniel Ross, CEO of Illume, will become the CEO of Options Media. The combined Board of Directors will include current Options Media board members Keith St. Clair, Leo Hindery and Ervin Braun and current Illume board members Daniel Ross and William Elfers. The Company intends to serve the consumer market through its PhoneGuard application and the enterprise market through the Illume iZup application.

Illume develops solutions that leverage location to power high-value mobile phone applications and services. Illume's iZup solution provides safer roads for everyone, enhanced productivity, reduced corporate exposure to liability and compliance monitoring. Illume has filed four patent applications for its technology, including battery optimization. Illume's customers and partners include Carahsoft, a major government IT solutions distributer (Illume is on the GSA schedule); Sprint, which recently named Illume as its distracted driving solutions partner for enterprise customers; The Jankovich Co., a leading petroleum distributer on the West Coast and a Fortune 500 food manufacturer. Illume sells its iZUP solution through its sales force, its enterprise partners, the Android Marketplace, and the BlackBerry App World.

"The combination of two leading mobile apps that prevent distracted driving -- PhoneGuard and iZUP -- creates the best solution for both consumers and businesses," said Keith St. Clair, Chairman of Options Media. "Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic, and as recently as December 2011, the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board recommended the ban of cell phone usage while driving. Beginning in January 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented a hand held cell phone ban for all commercial vehicles, with fines of $2,750 dollars for the operator and up to $11,000 dollars to the employer for every distracted driving ticket. This merger gives Options Media the ability to provide consumers and businesses product suites that ensure that drivers are not distracted by their smart phones while driving."

Daniel Ross, Chief Executive Officer of Illume, said, "Having built relationships in Washington to affect supportive legislation, invested heavily in new product development, established key partnerships to effectively go to market and taken steps toward building an enterprise customer base, we welcome the opportunity to join with PhoneGuard in addressing this growing epidemic. We will now have drivers protected whether it's initiated from the consumer or from the enterprise. We're excited for the future of the combined company in which we will continue to strive for responsible mobile phone usage while driving."

Led by experienced mobile telecom, Internet and media veterans, Illume boasts an advisory board of prominent business, political, financial and technology leaders that includes U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, Leo Hindery Jr., ex CEO of ATT broadband and founding partner of the Intermedia fund, who has already joined OMG's board, Fay Vincent, past Vice Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company, and William Elfers, Managing Director of Fidelity Capital and Chairman and CEO of Community Newspaper Company, a Fidelity Capital subsidiary.

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Environmental Infrastructure Holdings (OTCBB: EIHC) Subsidiary Signs Agreement With MOP Environmental Solutions, Inc.

Environmental Infrastructure Holdings (OTCBB: EIHC) Subsidiary Signs Agreement With MOP Environmental Solutions, Inc.Tallahassee, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Equisol, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Environmental Infrastructure Holdings (OTCBB: EIHC), which is the parent company of various environmental manufacturing, engineering and services companies, announced the signing of an exclusive sales agreement with MOP Environmental Solutions Inc., based out of Bath, NH.

MOP Environmental Solutions (www.mopenvironmental.com) manufactures a "cradle to cradle" green product that is the most cost effective oil spill recovery system on the market. MOP stands for Maximum Oil Pickup and can be used on both land and water. It is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-irritating and can absorb up to 30 times its own weight in oil. The products are made from 100% recycled materials, treated to be fire retardant, and are very lightweight and easy to handle.

Michael Cooper, Equisol Energy Services President, states, "As Equisol continues to bring environmental solutions to our customers, we are happy to be able to offer MOP products as part of our portfolio. We see many opportunities to bring this unique environmental technology to the oil and gas, petroleum and chemical industries we serve."

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MusicSkins Partners With Virtual Piggy (OTCBB: VPIG) Offering Innovative Youth Purchasing System

MusicSkins Partners With Virtual Piggy (OTCBB: VPIG) Offering Innovative Youth Purchasing SystemTallahassee, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- Virtual Piggy, Inc.(OTCBB: VPIG), an innovator in safe-online youth purchasing, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to provide their eCommerce service to MusicSkins LLC, a leading manufacturer of premium quality vinyl skin products. Through the agreement, Virtual Piggy will provide MusicSkins with a secure mechanism that will allow children to shop online in a parent controlled, parent monitored, COPPAcompliant environment.

Offering thousands of images from Dora the Explorer, Spongebob, iCarly, Domo to Exploding Dog, Justin Bieber and more, MusicSkin makes it fun and easy for children and adults to personalize their devices by uploading their own photos, artwork, logos or images.

“I am thrilled to partner with the Virtual Piggy team to provide a safe, controlled eCommerce solution for our customers,” said Laura Lavi-Jones, Chairman of MusicSkins." "As a mom in today’s digital age, I know how important it is for parents to know that there are merchants who offer a safe purchasing environment to their kids.”

MusicSkins allows users to put their favorite group, character or own creation on over 350 consumer electronics including Nintendo DSi, iPhone, gaming console and controller, iPad, Rock Hero guitar, personal computer, and more.

About Virtual Piggy, Inc.

Virtual Piggy, Inc. delivers a technology platform designed for the management of the Under 18 age group in the global online market. The Virtual Piggy technology enables online businesses to function in a manner consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and similar international children’s privacy laws. Virtual Piggy technology enables the Under 18 audience to play, transact and socialize in a secure online environment guided by parental permission, oversight and control.

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PositiveID (OTCBB: PSID) Obtains Certification for iglucose Mobile Health System

PositiveID (OTCBB: PSID) Obtains Certification for iglucose Mobile Health SystemTallahassee, FL 1/31/12 (StreetBeat) -- PositiveID Corporation (OTCBB:PSID), a developer of medical technologies for diabetes management, announced today it has obtained certification from AT&T for PositiveID's iglucose(TM) mobile health system, designed to simplify diabetes management for the millions of individuals impacted by this growing disease. This certification gives PositiveID's FDA-cleared iglucose system access to the AT&T network, which has the largest global presence of any U.S.-based wireless provider.

iglucose is the first and only pocket sized, FDA cleared, mobile health device specifically designed to connect to industry leading glucometers to transmit blood glucose readings anytime, anywhere. By seamlessly communicating glucose readings from a glucometer to the iglucose diabetes management portal, this important data can be shared with family members, caregivers and healthcare professionals via text message, email or fax, or through the iglucose diabetes management portal itself. iglucose makes it easier for individuals with diabetes to manage their disease and provides healthcare professionals with better data that can be used to improve clinical insight and treatment decisions.

Laboratory testing for the iglucose device was conducted in AT&T's wireless device testing laboratory. During certification, AT&T subjects each device to a series of rigorous tests to ensure the operational reliability of each unit as well as its ability to function flawlessly across the entire AT&T wireless network. iglucose is specifically designed for mobile monitoring, which helped to ensure optimum performance of the device during testing.
While medical devices for home monitoring have existed for many years, the devices are typically large, expensive and not targeted solely for the diabetes population. iglucose was designed with the end user in mind; the iglucose device fits easily into the pouch individuals with diabetes typically carry containing their blood glucose meter and test strips. Furthermore, because iglucose does not require a phone line or internet connection, its portability and compact size mean it can be used anywhere, anytime.

The iglucose system is compatible with market-leading glucometers such as Johnson & Johnson LifeScan(R), Nipro Diagnostic(TM) True(TM), Abbott Freestyle(R), and Bayer Breeze(R) and Contour(R) meters.
PositiveID Chairman and CEO William J. Caragol, said, "AT&T certification, which is not easily achieved, is an important confirmation of the performance and dependability of iglucose. As we continue to prepare to roll-out this mobile health system early this year through pilot programs with insurers and home-healthcare providers, AT&T certification provides us significant validation upon which our customers and partners can rely."

More than 25 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, or over eight percent of the population, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. The CDC predicts that nearly 30 percent of children born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes. The lifetime risk of developing diabetes for those born in the year 2000 is 35 percent. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is estimated at $200 billion.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Medisafe1 Technologies (MFTH) Stock Chart Analysis Video

MFTH is consolidating after a large ten-bagger type of move. The consolidation pattern is tightening which will have traders watching for the breakout of resistance at 1.5 cents with a potential upside to resistance at 3 cents.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

AuthenTec (Nasdaq: AUTH) Launches Fingerprint Security Solution for Apple Mac OS X Lion Platforms

AuthenTec (Nasdaq: AUTH) Launches Fingerprint Security Solution for Apple Mac OS X Lion PlatformsNorthern, WI 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- AuthenTec (NASDAQ: AUTH), a leading provider of mobile and network security, announced the availability of the new fingerprint security solution - including an Eikon fingerprint sensor and TrueSuite identity management software - for Apple Mac laptops and desktop computers running on Lion and Snow Leopard operating systems.

The new Eikon-TrueSuite offering from AuthenTec includes the following features:

- Web site logon (new) – logon to websites with a swipe of the finger; no need to type passwords
- QuickLaunch (new) –launch and logon to favorite websites; associate websites with different fingers
- Easy fingerprint enrollment/setup
- Mac logon
- Fast user switching
- Automatic updates (new) – ensure your software always incorporates the newest features

The new Eikon fingerprint reader for Mac and matching TrueSuite user software will be available in March for $59.95 from Apple.com, Amazon.com and AuthenTec’s Web store (store.authentec.com).

“Based on the strong demand from the Mac community, we are pleased to offer a fingerprint security solution with features and functions that enhance the user experience and support the newest Apple OS,” said Tom Aebli, AuthenTec Vice President of Software and eCommerce. “AuthenTec is pleased to offer Mac users the same fingerprint security and convenience features already enjoyed by millions of Windows PC users.”

AuthenTec’s software and eCommerce business supports the millions of fingerprint sensors already integrated into laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The software and eCommerce portfolio includes AuthenTec’s TrueSuite identity management software, Eikon fingerprint readers for PC and Mac, KeepVault online backup services, and mobile and PC applications that enhance security and the user experience.

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Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN) buying Solutia (NYSE: SOA) for about $3.38B

Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN) buying Solutia (NYSE: SOA) for about $3.38BNorthern, WI 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Specialty chemical company Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN) is buying Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOA) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $3.38 billion to broaden its presence in the Asia Pacific region and other emerging markets while expanding its product offerings.

Eastman Chemical is paying a 42 percent premium over Solutia's latest closing price and said Friday that it expects the deal to immediately add to its earnings.

Solutia, based in St. Louis, makes materials and specialty chemicals used in the automotive and architectural industries. Eastman Chemical has approximately 10,000 employees worldwide, while Solutia has about 3,400 workers globally.

Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, Tenn., was spun off from photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co. in 1994, according to the company's web site.

In the deal announced Friday, Solutia shareholders will receive $22 in cash and 0.12 shares of Eastman Chemical stock for each share of Solutia that they own. Based on Thursday's closing prices, Solutia shareholders will receive cash and stock valued at $27.65 per Solutia share. Solutia currently has about 122.1 million shares outstanding.

Solutia's stock jumped $8, or 41 percent, to $27.51 in morning trading, while shares of Eastman Chemical gained $4.05, or 8.6 percent, to $51.17.

The companies value the deal, including debt, at about $4.7 billion. Eastman Chemical said it plans to fund the cash portion of the buyout with available cash and debt. Citi and Barclays Capital, which are serving as financial advisors, have committed debt financing.

Both Eastman Chemical and Solutia's boards have approved the transaction, which still needs the approval of Solutia shareholders. The acquisition is expected to close in mid-2012.

Eastman Chemical Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said in a statement that the transaction is important in part because it will extend the company's reach into the Asia Pacific region. Eastman Chemical anticipates that it will have a compound annual growth rate in Asia Pacific approaching 10 percent for the next several years.

Last month Eastman Chemical said that China will play a key role in its growth as it broke ground on a facility in Heifei, China. The plant, a joint venture with China National Tobacco Corp., will make acetate tow, a raw material used for cigarette filters and other purposes. The plant is projected to be operational in mid-2013.

Eastman Chemical expects about $100 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2013, as the acquisition is expected to help lower corporate costs and improve manufacturing and supply chain processes.

"The acquisition of Solutia is a significant step in our growth strategy and one that I am confident will strengthen Eastman as a top-tier specialty chemical company with strong, stable margins," Rogers said.

Eastman Chemical expects 2012 earnings of about $5 per share, excluding acquisition-related costs and charges. In addition, the company boosted its 2013 forecast to more than $6 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast 2012 earnings of $4.64 per share and 2013 earnings of $4.97 per share.

Solutia provided its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results on Friday. Fourth-quarter net income rose 15 percent to $54 million, or 45 cents per share, from $47 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 8 percent to $526 million from $489 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 47 cents per share on revenue of $506.5 million.

For the full-year, Solutia earned $262 million, or $2.16 per share. That compares with earnings of $78 million, or 65 cents per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue climbed 8 percent to $2.1 billion from $1.95 billion.

The company maintained its 2012 forecast for adjusted earnings of $2 to $2.30 per share on revenue between $2.13 billion and $2.28 billion.

Analysts predict earnings of $2.20 per share on revenue of $2.23 billion.

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Milwaukee Electric Tool Powers Customer Service With AltiGen's (PK: ATGN) MaxACD

Milwaukee Electric Tool Powers Customer Service With AltiGen's (PK: ATGN) MaxACDTallahassee, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- AltiGen Communications, Inc. (Pinksheets: ATGN), the leading provider of integrated Microsoft-based Unified Communications solutions, today announced that Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. has deployed AltiGen's MaxACD contact center solution for Microsoft Lync.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. is an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of more than 500 heavy-duty, power tools, hand tools and 3,500 accessories for professional users worldwide. The company has a history of using state-of-the-art technologies and sophisticated manufacturing techniques to deliver durable and reliable professional tools of the highest quality. The company is a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd, whose global brands include such products as Ryobi®, AEG® power tools, Homelite®, Royal®, Dirt Devil®, Regina® and VAX® floor care appliances.

In 2010 the company began a project to replace its IT and communications infrastructure to ensure efficiency and the best customer service. "I was brought into Milwaukee Tool to manage the transition from legacy technology to a Microsoft based foundation," said Craig Mueller, Senior Manager of Infrastructure. "The goal was to shift the IT department from being a cost center to a provider of data and tools that would enable and empower our employees."

Mueller's team first transitioned the company from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange. The aging Siemens PBX infrastructure was then replaced with Microsoft Lync to provide PBX, IM, conferencing and collaboration capabilities across the enterprise. In 2011 the company set out to implement a new contact center that would complement the company's Microsoft technology investment.

"We evaluated all of the available contact center options for Microsoft Lync," said Mueller. "AltiGen's MaxACD software stood out as being intuitive, manageable and very cost effective. We liked that applications such as ACD reporting and call recording management were already built in."

Milwaukee Electric Tool has now unified all service operations using AltiGen's MaxACD contact center for Lync. Using the contact center's skills based routing, callers are indentified and connected to the agent best qualified to provide support across the nationwide service centers. With priority queuing, major customers receive the best possible support. The contact center managers also routinely use applications such as MaxSupervisor and MaxInsight to monitor interaction with a customer in real time, and make staffing adjustments as necessary.

"Our supervisors and agents are enjoying all of the new capabilities in the contact center," said Mueller. "With our new, stronger foundation, we will be in a position to ensure the best possible support for our growing base of customers."

"We're proud that a company with such a strong reputation for quality selected MaxACD to provide service to its customers," said AltiGen Vice President of Sales Mike Plumer. "Our goal is to make it simple and affordable to deploy a contact center for any company upgrading to Microsoft Lync."

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Columbus McKinnon (Nasdaq: CMCO) swings to 3Q profit

Columbus McKinnon (Nasdaq: CMCO) swings to 3Q profitPalm Beach, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Columbus McKinnon Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCO) returned to profitability in the third quarter, helped along by the sale of a closed facility and action pertaining to a recent South African acquisition.

Net income was $8.5 million, or 44 cents per share, in the 2012 third quarter compared to a loss of $39.6 million, or $2.08 per share, in the prior-year period.

Sales rose to $142.8 million, up 10.9 percent from $128.7 million. U.S. sales increased 12.5 percent to $74.7 million, while sales outside of the U.S. expanded 9.3 percent to $68.1 million. Sales outside the U.S. comprised 47.7 percent of total net sales.

Wall Street analysts had forecast EPS of 24 cents on revenues of $139.80 million.

Columbus McKinnon, based in Amherst, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products.

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Riverbed (Nasdaq: RVBD) shares drop on outlook

Riverbed (Nasdaq: RVBD) shares drop on outlookOrlando, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Shares of Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) tumbled 14 percent before Friday's opening bell, after the company warned of a first-quarter dip in the growth of an important line of its technology as it introduces a new product platform.

The Steelhead products line, which speeds the transfer of data across wide-area networks, will help drive growth later this year, the company said, though business would slow in the near term.

Some industry watchers focused on that long-term plan and suggested investors take advantage of any dip in share price.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi backed his "Buy" rating and $34 price target for the San Francisco company, calling the sell-off a buying opportunity. Any disruption from the product change should only last a quarter or two, he said.

"New hardware and software launching in quarter one expands Riverbed's market opportunity and its ability to accelerate and consolidate file and storage servers, software as a service traffic, and back-up and disaster recovery," Choi wrote.

Jefferies analyst George Notter backed his "Underperform" rating for Riverbed, and raised his price target by 75 cents to $17.25, saying that while the fourth-quarter results were better than he expected. However, he is more concerned about the long-term growth potential of the company's core business.

Notter said that the WAN market is only expected to grow about 10 percent this year and 8 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, it may be tough for Riverbed to find growth outside of that market.

WAN can help improve the performance of applications shared over computer networks — such as the networks that connect the computers of multinational corporations to one another.

Riverbed, which provides virtualization and cloud computing services, said late Thursday that net income improved to $20 million, or 12 cent a share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with net income of $13 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Excluding special items, the company earned 25 cents a share for the recent quarter, Edging out Wall Street expectations. Revenue grew 23 percent.

Riverbed shares dropped $4.09 to $25.83 before the opening bell.

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Dhanoa Minerals (Pinksheets: DHNA) Signs L.O.I. for Majority Interest of Desalination Project in Republic of Guinea

Dhanoa Minerals (Pinksheets: DHNA) Signs L.O.I. for Majority Interest of Desalination Project in Republic of GuineaOrlando, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Dhanoa Minerals, Ltd. (Pinksheets: DHNA) signed a Letter Of Intent (L.O.I.) with Vision Energy Corp. to acquire 75% majority interest, of Vision Energy's share of a major desalination project in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. Dhanoa's interest will include the rights, entitlements and benefits of Vision Energy in the desalination project.

Vision Energy has an agreement with Sofitrad SA of Brazzaville, Republique of Congo, to construct and operate a Desalination Plant located in the Republique of Guinea which will produce 5 million gallons per day of potable fresh water from seawater. The Agreement calls for Sofitrad to provide the $20 million funding Guarantee for the project and the Take or Pay contract for the entire plant production.

The division of net profits from the operation will be split 50/50 between Vision Energy and Sofitrad. Projections show that the annual net profit in a full year of operation will be around $10,500,000 after operating costs, maintenance, debt service and taxes. Dhanoa Minerals' 75% share of Vision Energy's portion of that annual yield is calculated to be approximately $3,937,500. Dhanoa Minerals and Vision Energy still own 100% of the equity in the plant and license.

The L.O.I. calls for CC Gas Systems of Florida to be the Construction contractor and permanent plant operator.

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Longhai Steel Inc. (OTCBB: LGHS) Announces Record Fourth Quarter Production and Sales

Longhai Steel Inc. (OTCBB: LGHS) Announces Record Fourth Quarter Production and SalesOrlando, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Longhai Steel Inc. (OTCBB: LGHS), a producer of high quality steel wire products in the People's Republic of China, today announced record Fourth Quarter 2011 output and sales volume of steel wire.

With additional capacity beginning to come on line from its newly-opened second production facility, Fourth Quarter 2011 steel wire output was 293,862 Metric Tons, up 23% from 238,912 Metric Tons in the same period of 2010. Fourth Quarter 2011 steel wire sales volume was also a record at 335,229 Metric Tons, up 30% from 257,871 Metric Tons in the same period of 2010.

Once fully ramped, Longhai's new production line will increase overall capacity by approximately 60%. The new line also has the capability to produce alloy steel, cold forging steel and welding rods. This new, higher margin product will allow Longhai to address demand in markets in addition to construction and infrastructure.

Mr. Steven Ross, Executive Vice President of Longhai, said, "This increase in capacity is part of our long term corporate growth strategy. The higher quality steel wire from this facility will diversify our product base, and give us the ability to maintain our growth trajectory in 2012."

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3 Things To Know Before Trading

3 Things To Know Before TradingOrlando, FL 1/27/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks were mixed in Asian trade. The Nikkei fell a slight fraction, but Australia rose 0.4% and the Hang Seng gained 0.3%; most of China remained on holiday. European indexes are also mixed this morning, with the Dax up by a slight fraction and the Footsie is down 0.4%. US stock futures are up a slight fraction as I write.

*The December reading of Japan’s Consumer Price Index, ex-fresh food, is -0.1% year on year, as forecast. The January reading of that same price measure for Tokyo is -0.4% year on year, one tenth more deflationary that expected.

*The December reading of Japan’s Retail Trade were up 0.3% month on month, a tenth short of the forecast.

*Greek debt talks are ongoing, no deal but there is some official chatter out of Brussels and Davos that a deal is close. Although I haven’t heard of any chatter coming from Athens and that is probably the place that the chatter should come from.

*The Q4 reading of Spain’s Unemployment Rate is 22.85%, up 1.3% from the previous quarter and more than a half percent higher than expected; it is the highest result in sixteen years.

*The December reading of Germany’s Import Price Index is +0.3% month on month, matching the expectation.

*The initial release of Q4 GDP is due out at 7:30am CST. Headline GDP growth is expected to be +3.0% on a quarterly basis, annualized. The Q4 reading of the key Personal Consumption component is forecast to be +2.4%. The Q4 reading of the GDP Price Deflator is expected to be +1.9% and the estimate for the PCE Core inflation measure is +0.9% quarter on quarter annualized. The final January reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan is expected to be 74.0; steady from this month’s preliminary result, but well above the 69.9 in December.

*NY Fed boss Dudley is scheduled to speak at 9:00am CST about the regional economy; but he will also take question after his prepared remarks, so it may be more interesting than it sounds.

*The Fed is scheduled to sell Treasuries today that are due to mature between 3/15/14 and 1/15/15; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CST.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

China Health Resource (OTCBB: CHRI) Signs Two New Agreements for the Sale of Gastrodia Valued at $10 Million

China Health Resource (OTCBB: CHRI) Signs Two New Agreements for the Sale of Gastrodia Valued at $10 MillionPalm Beach, FL 1/26/12 (StreetBeat) -- China Health Resource, Inc. (OTCBB: CHRI), announced today that it has signed two new agreements for the sale of Gastrodia valued at 67.5 Million RMB or approximately $10.7 Million USD (Corrected*). The agreements are with Chongqing Valley Pharm Corp and Sichuan Zhiyuanguanghe Pharm Corp and provide for a combined purchase total of 550 tons of Gastrodia from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

CHRI recently signed a 3 year exclusive agreement with a leading producer of Gastrodia in Pingwu, Sichuan. The quality of Gastrodia under this supply agreement is expected to meet the latest formal TCM pharmaceutical standard and gives CHRI continued leverage in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) marketplace in China, as the main controlling distributor and supplier of pharmaceutical grade Gastrodia (also known as Tianma).

"Demand is high for pharmaceutical grade Gastrodia and the company expects both our Gastrodia product revenues and bottom line will surpass last year. We have started the new year with strong demand aided by our brand recognition and high quality GAP standards," stated Jiayin Wang, Chairman and CEO of CHRI.

Gastrodia is recognized as one of the higher value herbs in TCM.

"We have announced continuous record growth for 2011 and anticipate continued double-digit growth for Gastrodia product line in 2012. We anticipate another record breaking year in our revenues and profits," says Weihai Liu, CFO of CHRI.

"In addition to great opportunities for Gastrodia, Dahurian Angelica (DAR) is successfully established as a franchise. With our Dragonhead Enterprise status, which confirms CHRI as a quality-oriented government sanctioned enterprise, we are positioned for a large scale global market penetration for CHRI's products," says Jiayin Wang.

(*) "An earlier version of this release erroneously reported the revenue from the agreements as $1.7 million US Dollars instead of $10.7 Million US Dollars and 67.5 RMB instead of 67.5 Million RMB."

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Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) Surges 22%: Q4 Beats, Q1 Rev View Beats

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) Surges 22%: Q4 Beats, Q1 Rev View BeatsPalm Beach, FL 1/26/12 (StreetBeat) -- Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) this afternoon reported Q4 revenue and profit per share ahead of analysts’ expectations, and forecast the current quarter’s revenue well ahead of expectations, as subscriber numbers began to steady themselves.

Revenue in the three months ended in December rose 47%, year over year, to $876 million, yielding EPS of 73 cents.

Analysts on average had been modeling $857.4 million and 54 cents a share.

The company ended the quarter with 21.67 million domestic streaming subscribers, it said, a gain of 220,000. International streaming subs rose by 380,000, for a total of 1.86 million. Total domestic subscribers, including DVD subscribers, rose by 610,000, ending at 24.4 million.

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue in a range of $842 million to $877 million, ahead of the $846 million average estimate, and a net loss per share of 16 cents to 49 cents, worse than the consensus 29-cent loss. The company projects it will have 22.8 million to 23.6 million total domestic subs this quarter, 2.5 million to 3.1 million International subs, and 9.4 million to 10 million domestic DVD subs.

Management remarked that it was encouraged by progress in winning back subscribers after losses last year:

We are encouraged by the strength in acquisition that we are seeing, coupled with continued improvements in retention among our domestic streaming members. For Q1 to date, our domestic net additions for streaming are tracking close to our net additions in Q1 2010 of 1.7 million net additions. Given this trend, we are comfortable with our ability to continue to expand our domestic streaming contribution margin.

Netflix shares are up $21, or 22%, at $116 in morning trade.

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Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) Tumbles On Soft FY Q3; Cuts Full Year Guidance

Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) Tumbles On Soft FY Q3; Cuts Full Year GuidancePalm Beach, FL 1/26/12 (StreetBeat) -- Home entertainment and PC peripherals maker Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) is down sharply Thursday morning on weak results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31.

For the quarter the company posted sales of $715 million, down 5% from a year ago, and well below the Street consensus at $766 million. Profits of 32 cents a share likewise came up short of the Street at 39 cents.

Logitech also reduced its outlook for the March 2012 fiscal year. It now sees sales of $2.3 billion, down from $2.4 billion, with operating income of $60 million, down from $90 million.

The company saw sales fall 5% year-over-year in EMEA, and 8% in the Americas.

“While weak economic conditions continue to weigh heavily on consumer sentiment in several mature markets in Western Europe, negatively impacting our sales in Italy, Spain and several other countries, we continued to achieve strong growth in emerging markets, particularly Russia,” the company said it remarks prepared for its conference calls with the Street. “The 5% decline in the region’s total sales compared to the prior year also reflected significant weakness in the webcam and remotes categories due to product gaps that we are in the process of addressing.”

As for the Americas, the company said that a major factor was the drop in sales for the Logitech Revue device for Google TV. “We began shipments of Logitech Revue in Q3 of the prior year and delivered sales of $22 million that quarter,” the company said. “Sales of Logitech Revue this year were down by $15 million due to the combination of a significant price reduction in Q2 of this fiscal year and our previously announced intention to exit the category. We are now sold out of all new Logitech Revue units.”

LOGI this morning is down $1, or 12.2%, to $7.18.

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Amgen to Buy Micromet (Nasdaq: MITI) for $1.16 Billion

Amgen to Buy Micromet (Nasdaq: MITI) for $1.16 BillionOrlando, FL. 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) has agreed to buy Micromet (Nasdaq: MITI), a biotechnology company that develops cancer drugs, for $1.16 billion.

The offer of $11 a share represents a premium of 33 percent from Micromet’s closing stock price on Wednesday.

Micromet, which currently has no drugs on the market, designs cancer therapies that target blood and solid tumor cancers, including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. The company has research facilities in Munich and is based in Rockville, Md.

Among Micromet’s drugs in development is blinatumomab, which treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia, that is now in Phase 2 trials.

“The acquisition of Micromet is an opportunity to acquire an innovative oncology asset with global rights and a validated technology platform with broad potential clinical applications,” Kevin Sharer, Amgen’s chief executive, said in a statement on Thursday. “Blinatumomab will serve as an important complement to our oncology pipeline.”

Amgen, which is set to reporting earnings after Thursday’s close, plans to acquire Micromet’s shares in two phases. A subsidiary of Amgen will buy at least a majority of Microment’s outstanding shares at $11 a piece. The parent company will then buy any remaining shares, at the same price. The deal will likely close in the first quarter, the company said in a statement.

Amgen is one of the world’s largest drug makers, with more than $15 billion in annual sales, however, the company has struggled to fill its pipeline with new blockbuster drugs. In the last five years, it has only introduced one runaway hit, denosumab, an osteoporosis treatment. Last year, the company slashed 6 percent of its research and development staff and issued a $5 billion share buy back in December. That month, the company’s current chief executive, Mr. Sharer, also announced his retirement. Robert Bradway, the chief operating officer and president, will replace him in May.

This would be the biggest acquisition by Amgen since it had agreed to acquire Abgenix for $2.2 billion in cash in 2005, according to Capital IQ data.

The pharmaceutical industry has been a bright spot for deal-making so far this year. Earlier this week, drug maker Roche Holding, announced a hostile $5.7 billion bid for Illumia, a genetic analysis service, in a bid to strengthen its diagnostic business. Separately, on Thursday, Celgene said agreed to buy Avila Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company, for $350 million in upfront cash and up to $195 million if certain targets are met.

Amgen was advised by Moelis & Company and the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. Goldman Sachs and the law firm of Cooley advised Micromet.

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RealNetworks (Nadaq: RNWK) Soars on $120 million Intel Patent Deal

RealNetworks (Nadaq: RNWK) Soars on $120 million Intel Patent DealOrlando, FL. 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Seattle’s RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) has struck a $120 million deal with Intel to sell off a trove of patents and patent applications, as well as its next-generation video codec software.

Under the deal, RealNetworks is selling about 190 patents and 170 patent applications as well as software for its video codec software.

RealNetworks said it is keeping certain rights to continue to use the patents in current and future products. The sale gives RealNetworks a significant amount of new capital to invest in new products and businesses. The company said it does not expect the deal to have any material impact on its businesses.

“Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealized value of RealNetworks assets,” said Thomas Nielsen, RealNetworks President and CEO. “It represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to generate additional capital to boost investments in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business."

The move signals further transition for RealNetworks, one of the pioneers of digital information such as music and movies on the internet. But the company has struggled as it has made the transition from creating content to focusing on technologies for distributing and managing media among different types of devices.

The deal gives Intel a cache of patents during a time when tech companies are increasingly bolstering their patent holdings to guard against patent-infringement lawsuits, or to seek legal action against tech rivals.

“The acquisition of these foundational media patents, additional patents and video codec software expands Intel’s diverse and extensive portfolio of intellectual property,” said Renee James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group. “We believe this agreement enhances our ability to continue to offer richer experiences and innovative solutions to end users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through Ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media.”

Over the past 18 months, Microsoft has aggressively pursued licensing agreements with hardware manufacturers who build Android-based devices, technology the Redmond company claims infringes on its intellectual property.

In August, Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, a move that signaled a change in the tenor of the patent battle going on between the search giant and Microsoft. Earlier in January, Google snagging 217 of IBM’s patents.

The patent deals inked behind closed doors -- and the battles waged in courtrooms -- are part of a period of unrest that typically follows any disruptive technology.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is trying to find new revenue streams after a slowdown in the PC market as users shift to tablets and smartphones.

In December, Intel formed a unit that will focus on chips for smartphones and tablets. The move comes about a year after Intel made a similar move by creating a unit to focus on networks and tablets.

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ADVENTRX Pharma (ANX) Stock Chart Analysis Video

The ANX stock chart is holding a solid support level at $0.56 and climbing again towards the upper portion of a multi-month channel with resistance at 67 cents. Volume has remained consistent, but technical traders will be looking for a surge to take out the top of the channel with the next resistance not until 81 cents.

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ISC8 (OTCBB: IRSN) and Falcon Electronics Sign Distribution Agreement

ISC8 (OTCBB: IRSN) and Falcon Electronics Sign Distribution AgreementOrlando, FL. 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- ISC8, Inc. (OTCBB:IRSN), is pleased to announce the company has signed an agreement with Falcon Electronics to distribute its line of 3D stacked chip and high-speed memory products and services. This new partnership provides a direct channel for ISC8 products into the large system builders and integrators that are looking for either secure components or systems in a package solution for their customers.

The ISC8 portfolio has grown further with the launch of its customizable stacking and packaging designed to meet the increased demand for high reliability and performance in very small form factors by providing small, highly integrated, systems-in-a-cube. This new partnership will provide an additional level of value to Falcon's customers.

Bill Joll, President and CEO of ISC8, commented: "We have ambitious plans for the 3D stacking market. Falcon is the natural choice of partner to help us drive forward given their expertise in selling and delivering superior customer service. Furthermore, their experience with Military and Aerospace customers selling and supporting complimentary technologies from leading vendors make them an ideal strategic partner."

ISC8's time-to-market oriented approach and flexibility are important to our customers," said Brian Diaz, President of Falcon Electronics. "The agreement holds great synergies. By combining ISC8's expertise in this market segment with Falcon's world-class support focus and logistics capabilities will facilitate rapid progression in existing and emerging sectors, and collectively we will grow our share."

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Universal Bioenergy (PK: UBRG) Announces Sales of 2.53 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in January

Universal Bioenergy (PK: UBRG) Announces Sales of 2.53 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in JanuaryTallahassee, FL. 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Universal Bioenergy Inc., (Pnksheets:UBRG), a publicly traded independent diversified energy company, announced that it sold over 2.53 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas for the month of January. The natural gas was sold to several of its 28 major electric utility customers through its subsidiary NDR Energy Group.

One of the customers that purchased natural gas was the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility located on the west coast with over 20.7 million consumers, and another major electric utility which purchased gas for power generation for its approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area on the west coast. The sales volume of 2.53 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas was sold despite the mild winter on the east coast.

Universal Bioenergy is a high growth company which continues to grow at double digit rates. Through its subsidiary NDR Energy Group, it sells natural gas to 28 of the largest public utilities, electric power producers and local gas distribution companies that serve millions of commercial, industrial and residential customers throughout the country.

Universal's President Vince M. Guest states, "We're very pleased with the sales volume that we made in the first month of this year. This is a great accomplishment for us especially in view of the continued soft economy and the unseasonably warm winter on the east coast. The sales of 2.53 billion cubic feet of gas is due in large part from our backlog of purchase agreements and demand for natural gas for use in power generation. Additionally, NDR Energy Group is expanding its sales of propane to some of our utility customers on the east coast. We are currently in negotiations with several other large electric utilities to obtain new purchase agreements to increase our revenues, and another major natural gas producer to obtain more gas for our expanding customer base. With our continued growth we are working very hard to achieve profitability this year."

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Juhl Wind (OTCBB: JUHL) Announces 7th Wind System Completed in Past 24 months

Juhl Wind (OTCBB: JUHL) Announces 7th Wind System Completed in Past 24 monthsTallahassee, FL. 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Wind stock news alert: Juhl Wind, Inc. (OTCBB: JUHL), the Leader in Community Wind Power, yesterday announced the official commercial start-up and operation of the two turbine project for Gundersen Health System in Winona County, MN. The 4.95 megawatt project (the "GL Wind project") is the first-of-its-kind in North America to be constructed specifically to address the energy concerns of a large regional health organization, in this case, Gundersen Health System.

"This unique wind project represents the continued activity by Juhl over the past two years and highlights our strength and diversity in the community wind energy market," stated Corey Juhl, Vice President of Development for Juhl Wind Inc. "We are seeing an increased demand for large commercial and industrial organization projects such as Gundersen's as they fit extremely well within Juhl Wind's area of expertise. This community-based project will provide significant economic benefits to the region. As one piece of their Envision program, the wind farm project will help Gundersen Health System achieve their goal of becoming 100% energy independent by 2014."

"This is an exciting time for Gundersen and our Envision program. This community wind project we have done with Juhl Wind was about two years in the making, and we're happy to report that the turbines are now creating energy," said Jeff Rich, executive director, GL Envision, LLC.

Rich added, "As a healthcare organization, it is important for us to lead by example. Creating renewable energy through programs, like the GL Wind project in Lewiston makes good business sense, creates local jobs during construction and ties directly to our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve. The money we generate from renewable energy projects, like the wind farm, and the money we save through energy conservation can be passed on to patients in the form of lower healthcare costs. The renewable energy projects are also allowing us to improve our environmental footprint in the communities we serve."

About Juhl Wind, Inc. (OTCBB: JUHL)
Juhl Wind is an established leader in Community Based Wind Power development and management, focused on wind farm projects throughout the United States and Canada. Juhl Wind pioneered Community-Based wind farms, developing the currently accepted financial, operational and legal structure providing local ownership of medium-to-large scale wind farms. To date, the Company has completed 21 wind farm projects and provides operations management and oversight across the portfolio. Juhl Wind services every aspect of wind farm development from full development and ownership, general consultation, construction management and system operations and maintenance. With its consolidation of the Valley View, Winona County and Woodstock Hills wind farms, the Company has now invested in and operates 21.7 MWs of wind power through its independent power producer ("IPP") subsidiary, Juhl Renewable Asset, Inc. Through its Next Generation Power Systems subsidiary ("NextGen"), Juhl Wind also provides full sales and service to smaller, on-site wind and solar projects in addition to our larger Community Wind Farms. Juhl Wind is based in Pipestone, Minnesota and is traded on the OTCBB under the symbol JUHL. Additional information is available at the Company's website at www.juhlwind.com or by calling 877-584-5946 (or 877-JUHLWIN).


This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements that reflect Juhl Wind's current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. Juhl Wind has tried to identify these forward-looking statements by using words and phrases such as "may," "will," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "plan," "should," "typical," "preliminary," "hope," or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Juhl Wind and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause Juhl Wind's actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and specifically those statements referring to any specific projects, prospective acquisitions and wind farm assets mentioned herein. New projects are subject to large, third party risks that may not be in control of Juhl Wind including the timing of funding and actual construction. While new wind farms noted from time to time are large-scale construction projects, Juhl Wind may not be the primary contractor for the provision of certain services, as it is in certain of its other projects. These risks are referenced in Juhl Wind's current 10K or as may be described from time to time in Juhl Wind's subsequent SEC filings; and such factors as incorporated by reference.

Published at Investorideas.com Newswire
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BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Drinks Americas (OTCBB: DKAMD) Receives $2mil Marketing Support for KAH® Tequila

Drinks Americas (OTCBB: DKAMD) Receives $2mil Marketing Support for KAH® TequilaNorthern, WI 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd., (OTCBB: DKAMD), a leading developer and marketer of beverage products, is pleased to announce that Worldwide Beverage Imports, LLC., together with Fabrica de Tequilas Finos, S.A. de C.V., the Importers and Distillers of KAH® Tequila, are committing up to $2,000,000.00 in marketing and advertising for DKAMD's national roll out of KAH® Tequila.

Federico G. Cabo, Chairman of the Board of DKAMD, stated that "with the amazing acceptance of KAH® and the National and International distributor line up that Drinks Americas has assembled, 2012 is shaping up to be a break out year."

Cabo added, "Sales targeted at 500,000 50ml's bottles of KAH® per month starting in March are slated for the On Premise Bar and Restaurant market. We have added production capacity to meet Drinks Americas back orders of minis which now exceed $600,000."

Patrick Kenny added, "The $2,000,000 marketing investment by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos, S.A. de C.V allows us to rapidly accelerate and grow the KAH® Tequila brand. Importantly, as we have committed to our shareholders, no further dilution or need to raise equity will occur for Drinks and we will continue to maintain our margins as we grow, as this is a direct investment in brand expansion by the distillery."

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PuraMed BioScience (OTCBB: PMBS) Migraine Treatment Now Available at CVS, the 2nd Largest Drug Chain in the United States

PuraMed BioScience (OTCBB: PMBS) Migraine Treatment Now Available at CVS, the 2nd Largest Drug Chain in the United StatesNorthern, WI 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- PuraMed BioScience, Inc. (OTCBB: PMBS) announced today that LipiGesic M, their clinically proven effective and safe, all natural product for the treatment of migraine headaches, is now available for purchase at CVS, the 2nd Largest Drug Chain in the United States. With the addition of over 7,000 CVS locations, LipiGesic®M is now available in approximately 15,000 stores nationwide.

"We are pleased to now have our LipiGesic®M product available in both the #1 and #2 Drug Chain stores in the United States. Between the nearly 8,000 Walgreens and 7,000 CVS locations nationwide, we believe our product is gaining the exposure needed to generate significant revenue," stated Russ Mitchell, CEO of PuraMed BioScience.

PuraMed BioScience, Inc. anticipates announcing additional distribution in chain drug stores in the near future.

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Cord Blood America (OTCBB: CBAI) Reports that Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells Used in Effort to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

Cord Blood America (OTCBB: CBAI) Reports that Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells Used in Effort to Treat Type 1 DiabetesNorthern, WI 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Cord Blood America, Inc. (OTCBB: CBAI), the umbilical cord blood stem cell preservation company focused on bringing the life saving potential of stem cells to families nationwide and internationally, said today reports that umbilical cord blood stem cells have been successfully used to treat individuals with type 1 diabetes, highlighting the importance of storing stem cells at birth.

According to reports in Medical News Today and USA Today, stem cells from cord blood have been used to "reeducate" the immune system T cells of people with type 1 diabetes so their pancreas started producing insulin again, reducing the amount of insulin they needed to inject. The treatment was even successful with long-standing diabetics who were believed to have no insulin-producing ability.

The scientists involved in the experiment said the treatment could potentially be useful in other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system cells attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This means the cells don't produce enough insulin, and the lost insulin has to be replaced through injections for the patient to survive.

Also recently in the news, scientists at the University of Central Florida announced they have transformed stem cells from umbilical cords into other types of cells, which could be key in therapies for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and other nervous system diseases.

"Sometimes we forget, as we go about our daily activities, just how revolutionary is the storage and use of umbilical cord blood stem cells for medical treatment. We will continue to monitor the medical literature and keep our investors up-to-date on the amazing progress of these stem cells, which have already been used to treat or cure more than 70 diseases," said Matthew Schissler, co-founder and CEO. "Kalorama Information, a healthcare market research firm, estimates the markets for stem cell technologies soon could top $1 billion. It also states that umbilical cord blood is without controversy and that many people support the notion of routinely collecting cord blood at birth."

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Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN) Shares Skyrocketed: What You Need to Know

Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN) Shares Skyrocketed: What You Need to KnowPalm Beach, FL 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Shares of Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN) soared a whopping 42% on Wednesday after Swiss drug giant Roche Holding made a hostile $5.7 billion bid for the genetic-analysis specialist.

So what: While the offer represents just an 18% premium over Illumina's closing price on Tuesday, it's about 65% higher than it was in December when rumors first started swirling about Roche's interest. Roche is making the move to boost its presence in the growing diagnostics business, but given that Illumina shares are soaring about 20% past the bid, it will likely need to make a higher offer to make it happen.

Now what: When you make 40% in one morning, taking at least some dough off the table seems like the prudent thing to do. While a higher bid from Roche or another large player is likely, holding out for a dramatically better offer seems a bit risky. Given Illumina's heavy reliance on dwindling government grants, this seems like an opportune time to lighten up the position.

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Corning Inc (NYSE: GLW) Sees Continued Weak Glass Market; Shares Tumble

Corning Inc (NYSE: GLW) Sees Continued Weak Glass Market; Shares TumblePalm Beach, FL 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) – Corning (NYSE: GLW) shares are trading sharply lower this morning following the company’s Q4 financial results, as the company provided some sobering commentary on the outlook for the LCD glass market, forecasting little growth ahead in the company’s core market.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported sales of $1.9 billion, down 9% sequentially, up 7% from a year ago, and roughly in line with the Street at $1.85 billion. Adjusted profits of 33 cents a share were in line with the Street.

The real issue was the company’s discussion of current conditions in the industry. And give the company credit for taking its usual thorough approach in laying out the situation, difficult though it may be. Among other things, Corning warned that prices will continue to fall rapidly, and that it does not expect any growth in the core display glass business over the next few years.

There was a hint of the current troubles yesterday in Apple’s spectacular December quarter results; Apple posted better-than-expected gross margins in part to lower-than-expected for components – including LCD displays.

“The display industry is in a period of transition and we are in the process of resetting expectations for its future growth and profitability,” CFO James B. Flaws said in a statement. “We are working closely with our customers to reduce glass prices to help them with their immediate financial strains. To that end, price declines will be significant in the first quarter of 2012, as they were in last year’s fourth quarter. We expect significant double-digit price declines over the cumulative two-quarter period. We are hopeful that our pricing actions, combined with our capacity decisions, will help us get back to more stable price declines in the coming quarters.”

Flaws add that Corning believes the actions the company have taken to reduce capacity “have brought LCD glass supply closer to end market demand.” He adds that if the company’s calculations on retail demand and supply chain dynamics are right, “then we believe worldwide glass supply will become balanced with glass demand at some point during the year.”

He adds that Corning “will be cautious on pace and timing of bringing capacity back on line.”

Corning said it does not expect much sequential change in the overall glass market in Q1. Volume at its wholly owned business should be in line with the market; at the Samsung Corning Precision joint venture, Flaws sees volumes flat to down double digits, depends on “the outcome of negotiations with a key customer.”

- In the telecom segment, Corning sees sales up “significantly” for the full year, with a 5%-10% increase sequentially.
- The company expects environmental technologies segment to grow in 2012, with a slight increase in Q1.
- The Specialty Materials segment, which includes Gorilla Glass, should show significant growth. The company said it expects yield improvements at its customers, as well as some price declines. Q1 sales should be up slightly.
- In life sciences, the company sees a “strong year,” with Q1 sales up 10% sequentially.
- Equity earnings in the first quarter are expected to drop 5% to 20%, excluding special items, due to lower earnings at both Dow Corning and Samsung Corning Precision Materials.

“We believe Corning is approaching a new floor in terms of profitability due to transitions in our LCD business and Dow Corning’s polysilicon business,” Flaws cautioned. “Moving forward, our plan is to grow profits from this new level.”

Approaching a new floor? Ugh.

The company said it expects “strong sales and profit growth over the next several years in our Telecommunications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials, and Life Sciences segments.” Sales in the company’s Display Technologies segment are not expected to grow, however.

Flaws says that “overall, we anticipate generating strong free cash flow* over the next several years. “We plan to use the cash for acquisitions to supplement growth, dividend payments, and our share repurchase program.”

Concludes Flaws: “At Corning, we are not threatened by business transitions. We have faced many in the past and weathered them successfully. We believe our business portfolio is strong, we have a leading competitive position in each market, and our innovation investments will generate future growth.”

The overall message is that the glass business is struggling; and that is weighing on Corning shares.

GLW is down $1.32, or 9%, to $13.30.

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Hudson Technologies (Nasdaq: HDSN) Reports the Issuance of EPA Letters to HCFC

Hudson Technologies (Nasdaq: HDSN) Reports the Issuance of EPA Letters to HCFCOrlando, FL 1/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Hudson Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HDSN), reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued “No Action Assurance” letters to importers and producers of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22 (HCFC-22) that reduces the amount of HCFC-22 that can be manufactured and/or imported in 2012 by approximately 45% from the amount allowed to be produced and/or imported in 2011.

On January 4, the EPA published a Proposed Rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that proposes to decrease annual HCFC-22 consumption allocations relative to the EPA’s December 2009 final rule (the “2009 Final Rule”) by a range of between 11 and 47 percent for calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Proposed Rule is not final and the EPA will be taking comment before issuing a final rule. Until the issuance of a final rule governing 2012 HCFC-22 allowances, the EPA’s No Action Assurance limits the production and/or importation of HCFC-22 in 2012 to an amount equal to the maximum reductions proposed by the EPA in the Proposed Rule, representing approximately a 45% reduction from what was allowed to be produced and/or imported in 2011.

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