Prana Biotechnology Falls on Disappointing PBT2 Results and Nordion to be acquired by Sterigenics for $727M

Prana Biotechnology Limited (NASDAQ: PRAN) shares sank 70% on Monday after the company’s most advanced drug candidate, PBT2, failed to meet its primary endpoint in a study of Alzheimer's disease patients. It was optimism over PBT2's potential that helped the stock move up in the past year, but Alzheimer's patients treated with PBT2 failed to show a statistically significant reduction in the levels of beta-amyloid plaques relative to a control group. Prana is also studying PBT2 as a potential treatment for Huntington's disease. "Whilst not meeting all of our hopes, this result does not deter us from the future development of PBT2, a safe and well tolerated drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease," CEO Geoffrey Kempler commented.

Prana Biotechnology Limited researches and develops therapeutic drugs for the treatment of neurological disorders in Australia. It primarily focuses on the Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Huntington’s diseases, as well as various cancer and age-related macular degeneration. The companys product line includes PBT2, which is in Phase IIb clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as in Phase IIa clinical trials to treat Huntingtons disease.

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Nordion Inc. (NYSE: NDZ) shares climbed to a new one year high of $11.62 after news revealed that Sterigenics acquired the isotope supplier for $727 million. The deal is for $11.75 a share, 23 cents higher than the stock’s closing price on Monday. "This transaction delivers value to our shareholders and is a good strategic fit for Nordion", said Nordion CEO Steve West. "We believe this partnership is beneficial to Nordion's employees and our customers, as Nordion and Sterigenics combine their global expertise, industry knowledge and the same focus on high quality standards and values. This transaction also marks the successful completion of Nordion's strategic review."

Nordion is one of the world's leading producers of molybdenum-99, an isotope used for medical imaging. The company operates in two segments, Sterilization Technologies and Medical Isotopes. The Sterilization Technologies segment offers Cobalt-60, a radioactive metal that emits radiation and sterilizes items by destroying contaminating micro-organisms; and dosimetry and professional services, as well as designs, constructs, and maintains commercial gamma sterilization systems.

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