The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, MannKind, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, QLT and AbbVie - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, MannKind, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, QLT and AbbVie

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX-Free Report), MannKind Corporation (Nasdaq:MNKD-Free Report), Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AUXL-Free Report), QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI-Free Report) and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc.,

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup

It was an eventful week for the biotech sector – highlights included FDA approval for a diabetes product and highly-awaited pivotal phase III data on a cystic fibrosis combination. Acquisitions also made it to the headlines with companies continuing to eye deals that will lower tax rates. Major stocks were up last week with the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index gaining 3.04%.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX-Free Report) was a major gainer with shares shooting up 40.4% on highly-awaited phase III data on a combination of Kalydeco (ivacaftor) and lumacaftor for cystic fibrosis patients. With Vertex deciding to exit its hepatitis C franchise, the company is banking on the cystic fibrosis franchise for growth. The phase III data came at the right time and should allow the company to file for approval by year end (read more:

2. It proved to be third time lucky for MannKind Corporation (Nasdaq:MNKD-Free Report) with the company finally gaining FDA approval for its diabetes product, Afrezza. Afrezza's approval is a major milestone for MannKind as it is the first approved product in the company's portfolio (read more:

3. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AUXL-Free Report), which is going through a challenging period with Testim expected to record a significant drop in 2014 revenues, has decided to merge with Canada-based QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI-Free Report). The company is looking to benefit from cost synergies and lower taxes (read more:

4. AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV-Free Report) provided additional details on its proposal to acquire Shire even though Shire has refused AbbVie thrice. The acquisition, if it goes through, would not only boost AbbVie's product portfolio and pipeline, the company would also benefit from a globally competitive tax rate (read more:

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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