The U.S. trade deficit in November at six year high

The U.S. trade deficit rises to a 6 year high

U.S. trade deficit rose to a 6-year high. Stockwinners
U.S. trade deficit rose to a 6-year high.

The U.S. trade deficit rose to a larger than expected $50.5 B, a 6-year high in November, after gaps of $48.9 (was $48.7) B in October and $44.9 B in September, versus a prior 5-year high of $48.8 B last January.

The November gap was $0.5 B wider than indicated by the “advance” trade report thanks to a larger upside import surprise than export surprise.

Exports of goods and services have returned to the cycle-high from October of 2014, while imports are now 4.1% above their level in October of 2014.

Analysts trimmed the Q4 GDP growth estimate to 2.5% from 2.6%, after a 3.2% Q3 rate, with a $38 (was $34) B net export subtraction, following a $16.2 B addition in Q3.

Analysts project a 5% growth rate in real exports in Q4 after a 2.1% rate in Q3, and a 9% growth rate for real imports in Q4 after a 0.7% Q3 contraction rate.

Analysts expect a current account deficit widening to $119.7 B in Q4 from just $100.6 B in Q3.

Analysts expect an annual current account gap of $458 B that will mark a new expansion-high in 2017, following the $452 B prior expansion-high in 2016.


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Kala Pharmaceuticals falls following its dry eye drug failure

Kala Pharmaceuticals announces topline results for clinical trials of KPI-121

Kala Pharmaceuticals announces topline results for clinical trials of KPI-121. Stockwinners
Kala Pharmaceuticals announces topline results for clinical trials of KPI-121

Kala Pharmaceuticals (KALA) announced topline results from its two Phase 3 clinical trials, STRIDE 1 and STRIDE 2, evaluating the safety and efficacy of KPI-121 0.25% versus placebo in patients with dry eye disease.

In the STRIDE 1 trial, statistical significance was achieved for the primary sign endpoint of conjunctival hyperemia change from baseline to day 15 in the ITT population and the primary symptom endpoint of ocular discomfort severity change from baseline to day 15 in the ITT population.

Statistical significance was also achieved for a second pre-specified primary symptom endpoint of ocular discomfort severity change from baseline to day 15 in patients with more severe baseline ocular discomfort.

Statistical significance was not achieved for a second pre-specified primary sign endpoint, inferior corneal staining change from baseline to day 15.

A positive treatment effect for ocular discomfort was also observed in the ITT population at day 8. KPI-121 was well tolerated in this trial with the most common adverse event in STRIDE 1 being instillation site pain, which was observed in 6.1% of patients in both the KPI-121 treatment group and the placebo group.

The only other adverse event reported by greater than 1% of patients was eye irritation, which was reported in 1.1% of patients on KPI-121 vs. 1.5% of patients on placebo.

Elevations in IOP, a known side effect with topical corticosteroid administration, were similar between the two groups with 0.4% in the KPI-121 group experiencing an increase in IOP of 5 mm of mercury or greater resulting in an IOP of 21 mmHg or greater compared to 0.4% in the placebo group.

In the STRIDE 2 trial, statistical significance was achieved for the primary sign endpoint of conjunctival hyperemia change from baseline to day 15 in the ITT population.

Statistical significance was not achieved for the primary symptom endpoint of ocular discomfort severity change from baseline to day 15 in the ITT population, although a positive treatment effect was observed at day 8, a key secondary endpoint.

A trend towards a positive treatment effect was observed for ocular discomfort severity change from baseline to day 15 in the patients with more severe baseline ocular discomfort, which was a key secondary endpoint in this trial.

KPI-121 was well tolerated in this trial with instillation pain being the most common adverse event In STRIDE 2 as reported by 5.7% of patients in the KPI-121 treatment group vs. 4.4% in the placebo group.

The only other adverse event reported by greater than 1% of patients was blurred vision, which was reported in 0.2% of patients on KPI-121 vs. 1.3% of patients on placebo.

Elevations in IOP were similar between the two groups with 1.1% in the KPI-121 group experiencing an increase in IOP of 5 mmHg or greater resulting in an IOP of 21 mmHg or greater compared to none in the placebo group.

Mark Iwicki, CEO of Kala Pharmaceuticals, said that “We will continue to analyze the results of both Phase 3 trials and the totality of the data from all 3 trials conducted to date and expect to discuss our clinical program with the FDA.

We believe that our preliminary, unaudited December 31, 2017 cash balance of approximately $114M puts us in a strong position as we maintain our focus on moving this program forward to serve patients with dry eye disease.”

KALA closed at $17.33, it last traded at $16.50 in pre-market trading.


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