Healthcare Stock Retreat - Lilly Nears 52-Week High After Cancer Drug Shows Promise


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Healthcare stocks were ending lower Wednesday, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index sliding about 0.5% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 falling 0.6% as a group.

In company news, shares of Eli Lilly and Co. ( LLY ) were up 5% in recent trade after the drug-maker today said its ramucirumab drug candidate significantly improved cancer patient survival rates compared to a placebo in late-stage testing.

The trial compared ramucirumab and another commonly used chemotherapy drug, docetaxel, with a combination of docetaxel with a placebo, in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

The trial also showed that the drug combination kept cancers from worsening.

Shares were up 4.9% at $57.97 each, earlier climbing as high as $58.18 a share - or just 0.3% under its best price since September 2005.

In other sector news,

(+) CHTP, FDA grants accelerated approval of its Northera (droxidopa) drug treatment for symptomatic neurogenicorthostatic hypotension. The drug will carry a warning about the risk of increased blood pressure while lying down.

(-) NPSP, Jefferies cuts investment rating to Hold from Buy with a $38 price target. Downgrade follows biotech firm reversing year-ago net loss, posting EPS of $0.07, also topping Street view by $0.05 per share. Revenue doubles from year-ago period to $54.5 mln, topping estimates by $9.43 mln.

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

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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