Healthcare Stocks Adding to Earlier Gains; Big Rally by Intercept Pharma Also Raising Peers

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Healthcare stocks were extending their gains this afternoon with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index advancing 0.6% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 gaining 0.7% as a group.

In company news, Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( ICPT ) shares were poised to quadruple in price today after the drug-maker early today said its trial to study obeticholic adic for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis was stopped earlier than planned after already meeting the primary endpoint.

Analysts claimed the decision to end trials is an indication of the rush to make available a treatment for a disease the Intercept CEO claims is at "epidemic proportions."

Other pharmaceutical companies engaged in the research and development of treatments for liver diseases gained today as well. Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc ( CNAT ) was up nearly 90% higher this afternoon at around $11.60, although well off a new record high of $14.17 hit earlier.

Galectin Therapeutics Inc. ( GALT ) gained almost 30% at around $10.90, earlier rising to an intra-day high of $11.38.

In other sector news,

(+) CRDC, Receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance for its MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 device and blue staple cartridge for medium thickness tissue for use in multiple open or minimally invasive surgical procedures.

(-) AEZS, Prices sale of 11.0 million equity units at $1.20 each, producing $12.2 mln in net proceeds after offering costs were deducted. Each unit consists of one common share and a five-year warrant to buy 0.8 of a share at $1.25 per share.

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) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: CNAT , GALT , ICPT

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