Health Care Sector Update for 03/20/2017: NKTR,ESPR,CERU


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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ 0.00%

PFE +0.19%

MRK -0.46%

ABT +0.43%

AMGN +0.20%

Health care stocks were drifting lower in recent trade, with the NYSE Health Care Index declining about 0.1% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were down about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Nektar Therapeutics ( NKTR ) surged Monday, with shares of the biopharmaceuticals company racing to a nearly 13-year high today after saying its NKTR-181 drug candidate met its primary endpoint of demonstrating a significant reduction in chronic lower-back pain compared with a placebo.

According to the company, 71.2% of the patients treated with NKTR-181 saw their pain decline more than 30% from the start of the Phase III efficacy trial of the opioid analgesic compared with 57.1% in the control group. Slightly more than half - 51.1% - of those NKTR-181-treated patients experienced a 50% drop in pain from their base line levels compared with 37.9% in the placebo group.

NKTR shares were up over 37% at $21.26 apiece in recent trading, earlier climbing to the best price since April 2004 at $21.64 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) ESPR, (+64.0%) Confirms its LDL-cholesterol lowering program is adequate to support approval of an LDL-C lowering indication for its bempedoic acid product and now expects to submit a new drug applicaton for reducing risk for cardiovascular disease risk with regulators in the United States and Europe.

(-) CERU, (-61.5%) Dare Bioscience becomes majority owner of the company. Sells CRLX101 & CRLX301 product lines to BlueLink Pharma for $1.5 mln; also divests its Dynamic Tumor Targeting Platform to Novartis ( NVS ) for $6 mln.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: NKTR , NVS , ESPR , CERU


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