Healthcare Stocks Solidifying Gains; BioCryst Rises on Plans to Advance Two New Angioedema Treatments

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Healthcare stocks have turned much higher, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining 1.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 adding 1.25% as a group.

In company news, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( BCRX ) is up more than 4% at $6.76 a share after the biotechnology company said it has selected two optimized plasma kallikrein inhibitors to advance into preclinical development as potential medications to prevent hereditary angioedema - a rapid swelling of the tissue just below the surface of the skin.

The decision follows both of the new drug candidates meeting the goals of BCRX's second-generation discovery program of improving selectivity and bioavailability compared to BCX4161, the company first-generation treatment for angioedema that's currently in Phase II development.

According to the company, hereditary angioedema is a debilitating and potentially fatal genetic condition affecting between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. In addition to painful swelling, individuals with the malady often experience excruciating abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting caused by swelling of the intestinal wall while swelling of the airways in the throat can cause asphyxiation.

In other sector news,

(+) GILD, (+2.7%) New Phase III trial data finds two of the company's hepatitis C drugs treat the disease better than existing options, with company planning to file a new drug application early next year. Also, JPMorgan raises price target by $15 to $100.

(-) OPXA, (-10.1%) Prices offering of 4.12 mln shares at $1.70 apiece, generating about $7 mln in gross proceeds to support continued clinical studies of the company's Tcelna drug candidate in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.



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: BCRX

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