Healthcare Stocks Holding Small Gains; ArQule Slumps After Committee Recommends Smaller Trial Dosages


Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ -0.20%

PFE -0.96%

ABT -1.86%

MRK +0.20%

AMGN +1.38%

Healthcare stocks are moderately higher with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index climbing about 0.2% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 are up 0.3% as a group.

In company news, ArQule ( ARQL ) is down more than 10% at $2.51 a share after saying it has received a letter from the committee monitoring the Phase III trial of its tivantinib drug candidate. The committee recommended reducing dosages of the prospective liver-cancer treatment because of a higher incidence of reduced white blood cell counts than in earlier trials.

ARQL is developing the drug with Daiichi Sankyo. It said the Data Monitoring Committee recommended the study dosage be reduced to 120 milligrams from 240 milligrams twice daily. It also said the companies should revise its patient monitoring procedures to confirm the safety of the lower dose.

The companies expect that the lower dosages will reduce the incidence of neutropenia observed to date.

In other sector news,

(+) HALO, (+1.3%) Authorized to market a subcutaneous formulation of Herceptin using its recombinant human hyaluronidase to treat HER2-positive breast cancer inside the European Union.

(-) CYTK, (-24.9%) First presentation of data from Phase II clinical study of omecamtiv mecarbil did not meet primary goal of alleviating shortness of breath in patients.

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: ARQL

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