Top Healthcare Stocks
Healthcare stocks were mostly higher ahead of the closing bell
with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining 1.3% and shares of
healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising almost 1.4% as a
In company news, Medtronic (
) shares were ahead nearly 2% in late trade, earlier establishing a
new 52-week high after the medical device company reported positive
results compared to more invasive surgical procedures in a
follow-up study of its catheter-based CoreValve heart-value
According to the company, the self-expanding valves demonstrated
excellent clinical performance and long-term durability after four
years in use in patients with severe aortic stenosis. The study
also found nearly three-quarters of the patients reported improved
quality of life one year after their procedures.
U.S. regulators in January approved the CoreValve system for use
in patients considered at extreme risk for open-heart surgery but
have not approved it yet for high-risk patients. The device and
procedure received CE Mark approval from European regulators in
2007. The study results were reported this weekend during the
Annual Scientific Session of the American College of
MDT shares were up 1.17% at $61.44 in late Monday trade, earlier
climbing to a new 52-week high of $61.60 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) BIIB, U.S. regulators approve the company's Alprolix
hemophilia B drug.
(-) MNKD, Piper Jaffray downgrades the company's shares to
Underweight from Neutral ahead of its April 1 meeting with the Food
and Drug Administration on its Afrezza diabetes drug. Price target
cut to $1.50 from $5 a share.