Healthcare Stocks Ending with Gains; Allergan Climbs to All-Time High After Winning Patent Fight


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AMGN +1.01%

Healthcare stocks are higher in late trade with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising 1.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 adding 1.2% as a group.

In company news, Allergan ( AGN ) shares today rose to a new all-time high after the drug-maker won a federal patent infringement lawsuit that will prevent copies of its Lumigan 0.01% glaucoma treatment from entering the U.S. market for another 14 years.

Lumigan produced $452.7 million in sales during the nine months ending Sept. 30, accounting for around 10% of the company's total revenue during that period. The legal win in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas, will keep several would-be rivals - including Novartis ( NVS ) unit Sandoz, Actavis plc ( ACT ), Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co ( HITK ) and Lupin Ltd. - from producing generic versions of the glaucoma treatment.

The generic-drug companies argued the AGN patents were little different than ones covering Lumigan 0.03%, with the presiding judge in the case noting it took AGN more than a year to come up with a formula that would be as effective as Lumigan 0.03% while also reducing red-eye severity.

AGN was ahead nearly 6% at $120.94 a share in late afternoon trade, earlier rising to an all-time high of $121.11. Volume also has been unusually heavy at 4.8 million shares - or more than double the stock's average volume of around 2.1 million shares exchanged each day.

In other sector news,

(+) MNOV, Shares reach two-year high after after the clinical-stage drug-maker said Phase I test results of its MN-001 drug candidate "provide compelling evidence" the medication needs further evaluation" as a potential treatment for liver inflammation.

(-) MRK, Today says it is considering a spinoff of its Animal Health and Consumer Care businesses into stand-alone entities, adding any action would be completed by year's end. Also continuing to prioritize R&D efforts and drug pipeline.

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
More Headlines for: ACT , AGN , HITK , NVS

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