Tesla (TSLA), Panasonic Affirm Entering Gigafactory Agreement Jul 31, 2014 06:47AM

Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) have signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States, known as the Gigafactory.

According to the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities. Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval. A network of supplier partners is planned to produce the required precursor materials. Tesla will take the cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs. To meet the projected demand for cells, Tesla will continue to purchase battery cells produced in Panasonic's factories in Japan. Tesla and Panasonic will continue to discuss the details of implementation including sales, operations and investment.

The Gigafactory is being created to enable a continuous reduction in the cost of long range battery packs in parallel with manufacturing at the volumes required to enable Tesla to meet its goal of advancing mass market electric vehicles. The Gigafactory will be managed by Tesla with Panasonic joining as the principle partner responsible for lithium-ion battery cells and occupying approximately half of the planned manufacturing space; key suppliers combined with Tesla's module and pack assembly will comprise the other half of this fully integrated industrial complex.

JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder of Tesla Motors said: "The Gigafactory represents a fundamental change in the way large scale battery production can be realized. Not only does the Gigafactory enable capacity needed for the Model 3 but it sets the path for a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy storage across a broad range of applications."

Yoshihiko Yamada, Executive Vice President of Panasonic, added: "We have already engaged in various collaborative projects with Tesla toward the popularization of electric vehicles. Panasonic's lithium-ion battery cells combine the required features for electric vehicles such as high capacity, durability and cost performance. And I believe that once we are able to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory, we will be able to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle market."

Cost reductions will be achieved through optimized manufacturing processes driven by economies of scale previously unobtainable in battery cell and pack production. Further price reductions are achieved by manufacturing cells that have been optimized for electric vehicle design, both in size and function, by co-locating suppliers on-site to eliminate packaging, transportation and duty costs and inventory carrying costs, and by manufacturing at a location with lower utility and operating expenses.

The Gigafactory will produce cells, modules and packs for Tesla's electric vehicles and for the stationary storage market. The Gigafactory is planned to produce 35GWh of cells and 50GWh of packs per year by 2020. Tesla projects that the Gigafactory will employ about 6,500 people by 2020.


Auxilium Pharma (AUXL) Will Receive $10M Milestone for Xiaflex PMDA Submission in Japan Jul 31, 2014 06:08AM

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AUXL) announced that the Company will receive a $10 million regulatory milestone payment from its partner Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation (Asahi Kasei). The payment is due because of the successful submission of a regulatory application to the Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Agency (PMDA) for XIAFLEX® (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) for the treatment of Dupuytren's contracture (DC). The review by PMDA is expected to be completed by mid-2015. XIAFLEX is a biologic approved in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia for the treatment of adult DC patients with a palpable cord and, in the U.S. for the treatment of adult men with Peyronie's disease (PD) with a palpable plaque and curvature deformity of at least 30 degrees at the start of therapy.

"We are pleased to see our collaboration with Asahi Kasei advance XIAFLEX, if approved, as the potential first, effective non-surgical treatment option available in Japan for patients suffering from the debilitating effects of Dupuytren's contracture," said Adrian Adams, Chief Executive Officer and President of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. "This marks another important milestone in the continued expansion of XIAFLEX to a global patient population."

In March 2011, Auxilium entered into a development, commercialization and supply agreement with Asahi Kasei. Under the agreement, Asahi Kasei was granted the exclusive right to commercialize XIAFLEX for the treatment of DC and PD in Japan upon receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. Asahi Kasei is primarily responsible for the clinical development, regulatory and commercialization activities for XIAFLEX in Japan. Auxilium is eligible to receive up to $247 million in potential payments, with $37 million tied to development and regulatory milestones and $210 million tied to achievement of aggregate annual net sales thresholds. As a consequence of the $10 million milestone payment being made on account of the successful PMDA submission, the remaining potential payments and payments tied to regulatory milestones are reduced from $247 million to $237 million and from $37 million to $27 million, respectively. In addition, Asahi Kasei will provide quarterly royalty payments based on tiered, double-digit percentages of the aggregate annual net sales of XIAFLEX in Japan.


Tessera Technologies (TSRA), Micron (MU) Enter Patent, Tech Licensing Agreements Jul 30, 2014 05:03PM

Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) and Micron Technology, Inc. (“Micron”) (Nasdaq: MU) announced today the execution of new, multiyear technology and patent license agreements. In addition to the new patent license agreement, Tessera’s wholly-owned subsidiary Invensas Corporation will license its Multi-Die Face-Down (xFDTM) semiconductor packaging technology to Micron and cooperate with Micron on the manufacturing of Micron products that incorporate xFD technology. As part of the agreements, Tessera and Micron will also explore other possible joint development efforts.

Tessera’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Lacey praised the agreements. “We are delighted to reach new long-term agreements with Micron that build on our existing relationship. We are thrilled to be working closely with one of the most successful and innovative semiconductor companies on the planet,” Lacey said. “We have continued to develop innovative, next-generation technologies that we seek to commercialize with world-class partners like Micron. We look forward to working with Micron to commercialize high performance multi-chip xFD DRAM and other products.”

“We are pleased to reach agreement with Tessera, including a patent license and a technology agreement relating to Tessera’s xFD packaging technology,” said Mark Durcan, Micron’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to discussing further joint development opportunities with Tessera.”

The specific terms and conditions of the agreements are confidential and have not been disclosed by the companies.


BioMarin (BMRN) Tops Q2 EPS by 18c, Sells riority Review Voucher for $67.5 Million Jul 30, 2014 04:56PM

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) reported Q2 EPS of ($0.23), $0.18 better than the analyst estimate of ($0.41). Revenue for the quarter came in at $191.8 million versus the consensus estimate of $159.7 million.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) today announced that it has sold the Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher (PRV) it obtained in February of this year. The Company received the voucher under an FDA program intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare pediatric diseases. BioMarin was awarded the voucher when it received approval of VIMIZIM®, a new biological product for patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis type IVA, also known as Morquio A syndrome. BioMarin received $67.5 million from Regeneron Ireland, an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in exchange for the voucher.

For earnings history and earnings-related data on BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BMRN) click here.


Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) Terminates Relationship with OSI; Notes Significant, Negative Impact to Same-Store Sales from News Coverage Jul 30, 2014 04:18PM

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) is providing the following statement:

On July 20th, an undercover report was televised in China depicting improper food handling practices by supplier Shanghai Husi, a division of OSI. Subsequently, the Shanghai FDA launched an investigation into this matter, alleging illegal activity. Upon learning of this, we immediately terminated our relationship with OSI globally, with minimal disruption to our menu offerings in China.

While OSI was not a major supplier to Yum! Brands, these events triggered extensive news coverage in China that has shaken consumer confidence, impacted brand usage, and disparaged the hard work of our over 400,000 Chinese employees. The result has been a significant, negative impact to same-store sales at both KFC and Pizza Hut in China over the past 10 days. Yum! Brands is outraged by the alleged illegal activity by Shanghai Husi and its violations of our standards. We reserve the right to take full legal action for the impact this has had to our business once the Shanghai FDA investigation is complete.

At this point, it is too early to know how quickly sales will rebound in China and the corresponding full-year financial impact to Yum! Brands. However, if the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have a material effect on full-year earnings per share. We will provide additional perspective on this matter during our third-quarter earnings call in October. Our brands have proven resilient over time and we expect this to be the case with this situation as well.


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