Healthcare Stocks Mostly Higher; Furiex Pharma Rallies on $1.5 Bln Buyout Offer from Forest Labs

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Healthcare stocks were mostly higher Monday, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index advancing around 0.6% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 climbing less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX ) rallied Monday, climbing nearly 29% after accepting a $1.1 billion buyout offer from Forest Laboratories ( FRX ).

Under terms of the proposed deal, FURX shareholders will receive $95 per share in cash and could be eligible for up to $30 per share in contingent value rights should FURX's eluxadoline experimental treatment for irritable bowel syndrome is approved for U.S. sales by the Food and Drug Administration and avoids being classified as a controlled substance.

In a related deal, FRX said it has agreed to sell FURX's future royalties from the sale of an anti-diabetes drug, alogliptin, and Priligy - the name brand of the first compound developed to treat premature ejaculation - to privately held Royalty Pharma for around $415 million once the FURX transaction closes.

FURX shares were up 28.8% in mid-day trade, climbing as high as $107 a share during Monday's session. The stock has a 52-week range of $32.01 to $121.97 a share, jumping more than 208% in value over the past 12 months. FRX shares were down about 0.9% at $89.02 each, giving up earlier gains.

In other sector news,

(+) AZN, (+10.7%) Pfizer ( PFE ) confirms its interest in acquiring the company in a bid to put offshore assets to work in addition to expanding product pipeline. PFE shares were up.

(-) MYL, (-3.7%) Meda AB Board of Directors rejects the company's proposal to combine the two companies.



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: FURX , FRX , PFE

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