Top Healthcare Stocks
Healthcare stocks were higher Wednesday, with the NYSE
Healthcare Sector Index rising 0.3% and shares of healthcare
companies in the S&P 500 posting a 0.1% gain as a group.
In company news, Zogenix (
) was posting big gains after a federal judge late Tuesday issued
an order preventing the State of Massachusetts from enforcing a ban
on its Zohydro painkiller, effective April 22.
ZGNX last week filed suit in U.S. District Court in Boston
seeking to shelve the proposed statewide ban intended to keep
doctors from prescribing or drug stores from selling its Zohydro
painkiller, saying the action infringed on the federal government's
authority to regulate drugs and other healthcare treatments.
A hearing in the case was held Monday.
Public officials have railed against Zohydro since last October
when the Food and Drug Administration cleared the opiate analgesic
for U.S. sales, arguing it can be easily altered and abused.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed an executive order late
last month declaring a public health emergency and barring Zohydro
sales and distribution, saying it could exacerbate a spate of
overdose deaths in the state from heroin and other opiates.
ZGNX shares were up 10.7% in recent trade at $2.59, earlier
climbing to an intra-day high of $2.68 a share. The stock hit a
three-year high of $5.19 a share on Feb. 13 when the company
released data from a Phase III study showing Zohydro was effective
in providing around-the-clock, long-term pain management.
In other sector news,
(+) BSX, (+0.8%) Federal appeals court vacates preliminary
injunction sought by Vascular Solutions (
) against the company's Guidezilla guide extension catheter,
calling it a "drastic and extraordinary remedy."
(+) ABT, (+0.3%) Reports Q1 earnings of $0.41 per share, ex
items, topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.05. Revenue slides
2.5% year over year to $5.24 bln, missing the Street view by around