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

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Top Healthcare Stocks

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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.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ACT , AGN , HITK , NVS

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As of 12/19/2014, 04:15 PM


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