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 The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: LLY

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