December 28, 2018
Ultomiris Box English

Alexion Not Getting Investor Respect – Is Trump The Cause?

News and Analysis By Mitchell Young BOSTON, NEW HAVEN: With an Investors Business Daily headline “Santa Comes Early As This Biotech Stock Grabs its Fourth Approval” the company could typically expect a rising stock price.…
December 28, 2018
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Plans Look to Revitalize Downtown Derby - QA+M Architecture Hired

QA+M Architecture’s conceptual renderings of downtown Derby on Factory Street.(rendering credit QA+M Architecture) PRESS RELEASE: DERBY: Plans are moving forward in town with a proposal that would bring new life into the…
December 28, 2018
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$25 Million Construction Contract Awarded For VA Facility

WEST HAVEN: A new 50,000 square foot outpatient clinic for the Veteran Affairs [VA] hospital at a cost of $25 million is being constructed at Edison Road in Orange, Skanska Construction has been awarded the contract. The new…
December 28, 2018
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Real Estate Group Releases Greater Hartford Retail Real Estate Report (2)

HARTFORD: Keypoint Partners, LLC of Burlington, Mass. has released The KeyPoint Report for Greater Hartford, CT 2018, according to Bob Sheehan, vice president of research. This comprehensive retail real estate report…
October 22, 2018

Hearst’s Connecticut Media Group Absorbs Seven More Weekly Newspapers

TRUMBULL: Hearst the publishing giant that owns the CT Post and New Haven Register has just gotten even bigger in Connecticut with the acquisition of seven southern Connecticut weekly newspapers. The purchase from Hersam…
October 23, 2018

Meriden Manufacturer Plans Major Expansion In Cheshire

Accel International Holdings, with headquarters at 508 Colony Street in Meriden a manufacturer of “high performance” metallic and fiber conductors for the aerospace and electronics industries, has purchased the former site…

Hartford Realtors Partner To Start Commercial Listing Service

Oct 21, 2018
HARTFORD:, The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors (GHAR) has partnered with Catylist an Ann Arbor, MI based commercial…

Report Outlines Connecticut Long-Term Fiscal Woes

Oct 18, 2018
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Connecticut residents and business people probably don’t need any more evidence as to the well discussed fiscal issues for…

New Haven Biotech Goes Public and Execs Buy In With The Public

Oct 08, 2018
Arvinas' CEO Houston puts nearly half a million dollars on the line in newly public company. NEW HAVEN: A city biotech based…

New Haven Biotech Signs $265 Million Deal With Italian Pharma Partner

Oct 12, 2018
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NEW HAVEN: Melinta Therapeutics, Inc. [Nasdaq: MLNT] and the $3.5 billion Menarini Group, based in Florence, Italy have…

Deepwater Wind - Purchased By Danish Wind Power Giant

Oct 10, 2018
PROVIDENCE, R.I: Deepwater Wind, the Offshore wind power company is being purchased by Orsted, based in Fredricka, Denmark…

Subsidy for Dublin Flights to Likely Reach $30 Million By 2020

Sep 18, 2018
By Mitchell Young WINDSOR LOCKS: A potential $4 billion state budget deficit wasn’t enough to persuade the Malloy…

Citing “Excessive" New State Regulation, Mortgage Lender, Halts Expansion Claims Layoffs to Follow

Sep 19, 2018
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EAST HARTFORD: A growing and expanding mortgage company has halted its expansion and new headquarters after a dispute with…

Hartord Realtors Issue Quarter End Home Sales Report

Sep 26, 2018
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HARTFORD: As the summer closed, The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors had good news for prospective home sellers…

Springfield Casino Draws Big – Connecticut Casinos See Small Slot Dips

Sep 19, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, MA., LEDYARD: While the Connecticut and now Massachusetts casinos go head to head, the tax coffers of both…

Hartford/Western Mass. Commercial Realtor’s Report: Steady As She Goes

Sep 21, 2018
HARTFORD: The Connecticut/ Western Massachusetts chapter of SIOR presented the results of its semi-annual membership survey…


$25 Million Construction Contract Awarded For VA Facility

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WEST HAVEN: A new 50,000 square foot outpatient clinic for the Veteran Affairs [VA] hospital at a cost of $25 million is being constructed at Edison…

Medical Practice Consultants Relocate to Shelton

SHELTON: U.S. Vascular Management Group of Trumbull has leased 8,600 SF of premier office space at International Place, 6 Research Drive in Shelton.…

Quinnipiac Appoints Dean of Nursing School

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NORTH HAVEN : Lisa G. O’Connor of East Haddam has been appointed Dean, of the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac University, O’Connor had been associate…

Hartford HealthCare To Acquire Bridgeport’s St. Vincent's Medical Center

BRIDGEPORT: St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport and its parent Ascension Health have signed a non-binding letter of intent with Hartford…

Anti-Marijuana Organization Cites Potential Costs to Legalization

HARTFORD: While Advocates for legalization of recreational use of Marijuana in Connecticut cite economic benefit to the state an anti-legalization…

Advocates for marijuana sales point to big economic boost

By: Keith M. Phaneuf | Advocates for legalizing recreational marijuana use in Connecticut — and taxing its sales — are hoping a holistic,…

Breaking down this year’s Access Health CT open enrollment

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By: MACKENZIE RIGG | In all, 114,134 residents enrolled in private health insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange,…

Wallingford Medical Device Company Launches Product To Control Internal…

WALINGFORD: Z-Medica, LLC, a developer of hemostatic devices, announced that QuikClot Control+® approved by the FDA in June of 2017 is now…

Children's Hospital Invests In Mass. Biotech

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HARTFORD: Connecticut Children's Medical Center has made an investment in a small Massachusetts based biotech company Biostage, Inc. [OTCQB:…

State Seeks More Medical Marijuana Sellers

HARTFORD: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be trying to arrest the increase in marijuana sales in states across the country, but Connecticut is…


Online Investment Platform Presents West Hartford Apartment Investment

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WEST HARTFORD:, ArborCrowd an online platform based in NYC that enables individuals to make equity investments in “institutional-quality commercial…

High Speed Fiber Internet - Expands Connecticut Foothold To New Haven

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NEW HAVEN: High speed Internet access will be coming to select neighborhoods in New Haven, with the potential for expansion to other areas.…

Stamford Creates An “Innovation Playground” For Start-Up And Large…

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By Thomas Madden, AICP, Director of Economic Development, Stamford Stamford is preparing to be the city of tomorrow through a repeating $2 million…

Imaging Company Purchases Headquarters Building

STRATFORD: Kubtec Digital X-Ray has purchased a freestanding building at 111 Research Drive for $1.045 million. The building, on 0.67 acre,…

Road Show On Federal Funding of Tech - Coming To New Haven

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NEW HAVEN: The SBIR Road Tour is coming to New Haven on Tuesday, August 21, to convey the "nondilutive technology funding opportunity" provided…

Non-Profit Water Company Makes “Venture” Investment In Indoor Farming…

MERIDEN, NEW HAVEN: The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) announced a $500,000 investment in Meriden-based Trifecta…

Legacy AV Company Shows Its Stuff With New Headquarters

NORTH HAVEN: HB Communications, founded in 1946 is an audiovisual communication solutions company, has opened the doors to its newly renovated…

Tech Firm Relocates To Shelton Office Building

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SHELTON, Dark Field Technologies has relocated their headquarters from Orange to Shelton, according to Jon Angel, president of Angel Commercial,…

New Haven Architects’ Design One of Six Selected for review for uberAIR…

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NEW HAVEN, LOS ANGELES: New Haven based Pickard Chilton working with Arup, Corgan, and The Beck Group was selected as one of six leading architecture…

Connecticut Innovations Funds 43 Companies in Final 2017 Quarter

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ROCKY HILL: Connecticut Innovations (CI), Connecticut’s venture capital arm and what they say is the “leading source of financing and ongoing support…



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BY JOEL SCHIAVONE NOVEMBER 7, 2018 It’s finally over! Seems like this election has gone on for years and now we know Connecticut is an unshakeable…

Report Outlines Connecticut Long-Term Fiscal Woes

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Connecticut residents and business people probably don’t need any more evidence as to the well discussed fiscal issues for the state. However,…

Springfield Casino Draws Big – Connecticut Casinos See Small Slot Dips

SPRINGFIELD, MA., LEDYARD: While the Connecticut and now Massachusetts casinos go head to head, the tax coffers of both states remain big winners.…

Another Day Older And Deeper In Debt

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By Joel Schiavone Connecticut State expenses for employee benefits current and past have gone from 10% of the budget to 30% over the past few years.…

CBIA Launches Statewide Issues-Based Public Awareness Campaign (2)

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HARTFORD: As a new campaign for governor and competing visons for Connecticut take hold, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association [CBIA] is…

New Haven Today, But Tomorrow – Two Views

The streets of the City of New Haven are well packed with young people and even suburbanites for the first time in decades. Apartment rehabs and new…

The Collapse of New Haven

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By Joel Schiavone Enjoy your summer. This is the lull before the storm. Campaigning begins in earnest for state and local elections which will…

Mr. Smith Wants to Go to Hartford

OPINION: By Mitchell Young Or does he? Webster Bank Chairman and former CEO James Smith said on April 6 he wants to be Connecticut’s next Governor,…

Internal Investigation, Lawsuits, Management Changes, A Failed Clinical Trial and New Competition, Heighten Speculation About the Future.

AlexionHQWinter2016NEW HAVEN: The Elm City’s new flagship company Alexion Pharmaceuticals [NASDAQ: ALXN] is finding itself under the microscope of lawyers, financial regulators, investment bankers and even bio-scientists as it reacts to significant financial and drug discovery events in the past 30 days.

In late November, the company announced an internal investigation into sales practices of its main revenue producing drug, Soliris. To date Soliris, with 2015 revenues of 2.5 billion has been the company’s sole financial driver.

The company’s stock trading was frozen for a short period as it declined to release its 10Q report on time. The company did file in early January stating there was no need for any material changes to its previous filings or restatements.  How that plays out with the lawsuits and whether it puts the issue to bed remains to be seen. Company analysts have said that whistleblower claims at big companies have become more common and part of the investment landscape. A 10Q report however, requires senior management to personally certify, in writing and under oath the accuracy of a company’s financial information.

What the company did release very quickly,surprising investors and analysts, were CEO David Hallal and CFO Vikhas Sinha who would have had to sign the 10Q.

Officially the company said Hallal was leaving for “personal” reasons and Sinha to pursue “other opportunities.” The investment news website Seeking Alpha however, argued that the pair was avoiding the filing responsibility under federal law [Sarbanes Oxley] to certify the report. It added that, “Alexion implied the executives departed due to the company having lost confidence in them.” 

Hallal took over from Alexion founder David Bell in April 2015, Bell remained as Chairman of the Board. An Alexion board member since July 2014

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New CEO Brennan

a former Astrazeneca [NYSE: AZN] CEO David Brennan, was chosen to “temporarily” take the position of CEO and headhunting firm Spencer Stuart was tapped to find a permanent replacement.  Former Honeywell International [NYSE:HON] CFO David Anderson was chosen as the company’s new CFO.  Brennan signed the 10Q certifying its statements.

Two investor class action lawsuits have already been filed against the company and several law firms across the country are seeking claimants. Building a class of disgruntled stockholders to join in, won’t likely prove a difficult task.

In early December, Alexion stock tumbled to $113 per share, its lowest level in three years. The company’s stock’s price however, had already come down along with many bioscience stocks from their 2016 highs, Alexion’s 52 week high was $193
per share. 

Two newly approved drugs are expected to fortify the company’s sales pipeline. The integration of its acquisition for $8.4 billion in June 2015 of Synageva of Lexington, MA, brought  the drug Kanuma and a previous acquisition in 2012 of Enobia of Montreal, Canada for $610 million brought the drug Strensiq.  Both drugs were approved by the FDA in late 2015 and like Soliris, treat rare diseases where there are no other current drug treatments.

Kanuma treats Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency, [LAL Deficiency], a disease that prevents the body from adequately disposing of fatty acids. Leading to problems in the liver, spleen, and blood vessels. Stensiq treats Perinatal, Infantile and Juvenile-onset Hypophosphatasia (HPP),  an inherited rare metabolic bone disease that disrupts bone mineralization. Symptoms include weakening and softening of the bones that cause skeletal abnormalities. Hypophosphatasia affects an estimated 1 in 100,000 newborns.

The market for the two acquired drugs is estimated to have a potential of nearly $1.7 billion annually. They are off reportedly off to a slow start however. After a year plus on the market sales of the two are expected to be less than $200 million so far.

With new drugs coming on line, things started out pretty rosy in 2016 with the company moving into a new global corporate headquarters in downtown New Haven. Initially the company considered that 400-600 employees would occupy its new tower, 1,000 are said to be already there. The company has told the city to expect as many as 1,700 jobs could come to New Haven.

The original allegation about the Soliris sales practices was raised by a former employee of the company. 

The “listed” price of the drug for an annual treatment is currently approximately $450,000 per year, but the company offers a variety of methods to reduce that cost, including grants where necessary for patients. One explanation floated about the investigation revolved around how the company treated booking grants for the drug.

Alexion has been seeking new uses for Soliris and just received some bad news in that arena too.  Results from a Phase 2/3 trial of eculizumab (Soliris) showed “the drug failed to reach its primary endpoint for the prevention of delayed graft function in recipients of deceased donor kidneys.” There were no previously available treatments for this condition that can cause the loss of a transplanted kidney.

Competitors for Soliris have also begun to rise with their own clinical results coming in the most recent quarter. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq:ALNY] of Cambridge, MA is a $3.5 billion market cap company that is developing a drug using RNA gene splitting technology, if successful their drug would compete directly against Soliris. The company said results from a Phase 1/2 trial when used with Soliris showed safety and improvements for patients and the need of less Soliris. That drug is still at least a Phase 3 trial success and FDA approvals down the road.

A smaller biotech Seattle’s Omeros  [NASDAQ: OMER] with less than a half billion dollar market cap just announced the FDA is signing off on the company’s plans for clinical development and manufacturing of another competing drug. The company is seeking accelerated approval, claiming it believes it has demonstrated “clinical advantages over Soliris.”

To qualify for accelerated approval, a drug must treat a serious condition and generally provide a ‘meaningful advantage’ over available therapies, the Omeros’ drug has already been tested in Phase 2 studies. 

The even smaller Akari Therapeutics [NASDAQ:AKTX] based in London with only a $87 million market cap is another competitor with a drug [Coversin] trying to close in on Soliris.  Akari’s drug is derived from a protein produced by ticks. Akari claims it targets the same body chemistry as Soliris and that side effects are minimal. Coversin is taken orally, while Soliris is infused weekly. Akari expects to move into Phase 3 trials of Coversin in 2017.

For several years Alexion has been
rumored to be a target for acquisition from a larger pharmaceutical company. The industry has been driven by consolidation fueled by an expected push back from government over pricing, and the need to obtain more scale to deal with the increasing costs of drug development. 

The acquisition target theory circulated on investment news media goes that most of the big fish are already taken in the “pharma space” or would receive a hostile response from governments in the US and Europe.

Alexion is by no means a giant, but with its approximate $30 billion market cap, and a currently captive market, it remains a potentially juicy target.

The alternate argument has been that big pharma companies don’t want orphan drugs that treat fewer than a few hundred thousand patients worldwide. Making the case harder, Alexion stock trading at 15 times sales was too overpriced for the “street.”

Be that as it may, the  a reliable investment news source reported in early December that Alexion “was approached by a large U.S.-based drug company interested in a merger, according to a person claiming to have knowledge of the matter. The name of the suitor wasn’t made available.” 

The site continued with, “a number of large U.S. and foreign players are known to be shopping for drugs large enough to move the needle on revenue, and slightly troubled companies like Alexion probably aren’t being ruled out.”

Alexion has not responded to the rumor.