Healthcare Stocks in Decline; Unilife Rallies after Expanding Collaboration Pact with Novartis


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Healthcare stocks are sharply lower, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.8% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 sliding 0.9% as a group.

In company news, Unilife Corp ( UNIS ) rose to a new 52-week high earlier, climbing nearly 23% to $5.10 after late Monday announcing a new clinical supply agreement for use of its injectable drug delivery platform with one of Novartis' ( NVS ) early-stage pipeline drugs.

Under the deal, UNIS will supply NVS with a customized delivery device - consisting of a syringe, needle, tubing, controller and a pump - to administer an investigational NVS drug into a targeted organ during an upcoming clinical trial.

UNIS also has granted NVS with an exclusivity option through the pact. The new deal follows similar collaborations between the companies that began in 2011.

At last look, UNIS shares were ahead about 14% at $4.73 apiece. NVS was down 1% at $78.45 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) CNAT (+21.1%) U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants orphan drug status for the company's Emricasan drug candidate - now in Phase IIb testing - to stymie recurrent fibrosis and cirrhosis in liver-transplant recipients.

(-) THO, (-3.1%) Q1 earnings of $0.68 per share, ex items, trail analyst expectations by $0.02. Revenue rises 5.1% year over year to $800 mln, roughly matching Street view looking for $802.6 mln in quarterly sales.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: NVS , UNIS

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