Morning Buzz: Baidu (BIDU), Arrowhead Research (ARWR), Conatus Pharma (CNAT), Keryx (KERX)

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Shares of Chinese internet giant Baidu, Inc (BIDU) were down marginally in pre-market hours on news of partnership with Microsoft (MSFT) which will make Baidu,  instead of Msoft’s Bing, the default home page and search engine for China-based users.

Shares of Arrowhead Research Corp. (ARWR) are higher by nearly 34% to $8.99 in pre-market trading on Thursday after the company reported peak reduction in HBsAg of up to 99% after a single dose with Hepatitis B candidate ARC-520 in treatment Naïve Cohort of Phase 2a Study.

Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., president and CEO of Arrowhead, stated, “These are exciting data that represent a significant leap forward for our DPC™ platform, ARC-520, and the HBV field. We have achieved the highest knockdown ever reported in humans with RNAi and a safety profile that continues to be excellent. We are optimistic that this will ultimately translate into powerful clinical outcomes for ARC-520 and follow-on candidates against multiple indications.”

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CNAT) shares surged 17.42% to $6.74 in pre-market trading after the microcap ($113.20 million) biotech company reported top-line results from multicenter Phase 2 Portal Hypertension clinical trial in patients with liver cirrhosis.

David T. Hagerty, M.D., Executive VP of Clinical Development at Conatus, stated, “We were excited to demonstrate that a drug candidate with the potential to achieve long-term resolution of fibrosis and cirrhosis also has the ability to induce a rapid and clinically meaningful reduction of severe portal hypertension.”

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) shares surged almost 20% to $6.74 in pre-market trading following announcement of the EU approval for Fexericx for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in adults with chronic kidney disease.

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