Healthcare Sector Little Changed; Aria Pharma Hits Sour Note After FDA Pauses Drug Trial


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Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.40%

PFE +0.19%

ABT +0.20%

MRK -0.77%

AMGN -0.86%

Healthcare stocks are little changed, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 both slipping less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA ) still is down more than 69% at $5.29 a share but is well off its new 52-week low that carried shares to $4.00 each after the Food and Drug Administration placed a partial hold on new patient enrollments in clinical trials for its Iclusig drug candidate after some patients suffered from serious side effects including blood clots and other cardiac problems.

ARIA said just under 12% of patients receiving the prospective cancer pill developed blood clots during the past two years. That's a 50% increase over its prior reports on the drug's side effects. Overall, about one out of five patients experienced some side effect from Iclusig during testing so far, according to the company.

ARIA reported $13.9 million in Iclusig sales during Q2. Pending FDA approval, the company said it plans to continue enrollment in clinical studies of the drug using lower doses.

In other sector news,

(+) ATEC, (+5.7%) Sees Q3 revenue rising 7% year over year to $50.1 mln, topping Street estimates by $1.64 mln, with solid unit volume gains in core hospital business and higher surgeon uptake across various product line in the U.S.

(-) LPTN, (-16.0%) Pfizer Inc ( PFE ) tells the biotech it will divest some of its ophthalmology R&D assets, including an option to commercialize LPTN's iSONEP treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration. LPTN has offered to reacquire those rights.

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 , Commodities
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