Healthcare Stocks Helping Pace Market Rally; Amgen Climbs on FDA Approval for New Cholesterol Drug


Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.75%

PFE +0.50%

ABT +0.39%

MRK +0.89%

AMGN +2.17%

Healthcare stocks are mostly higher, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining 1.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising 1.0% as a group.

In company news, Amgen ( AMGN ) advanced nearly 2% Monday after saying its prospective cholesterol drug reduced so-called bad cholesterol by as much as 76% during late-stage testing.

According to the company, evolocumab significantly reduced LDL cholesterol in patients intolerant to more common anti-cholesterol medications as well as in patients using statins.

One of the Phase III trials found a 37% to 39% drop in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the statin-resistant group compared to a placebo. Used together with a statin, the study found cholesterol levels fell between 55% to 76% in patients receiving evolocumab compared to the control group, AMGN said.

AMGN shares were ahead 2.2% at $123.19 in mid-day trading, earlier climbing to a session high of $124.53 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $94.15 to $128.96 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) BIIB, (+3.4%) U.S, regulators approve the company's Alprolix hemophilia B drug.

(-) MNKD, (-14.7%) Piper Jaffray downgrades to Underweight from Neutral ahead of the company's April 1 meeting with the Food and Drug Administration on its Afrezza diabetes drug. Price target cut to $1.50 from $5 a share.

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.

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

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AMGN

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