Healthcare Stocks Unable to Gain Much Traction Today; Vertex Pharma Slips After Arthritis Drug Has High Rate of Adverse Events

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Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ -0.62%

PFE -0.20%

ABT -1.19%

MRK -0.24%

AMGN -1.29%

Healthcare stocks are narrowly lower with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index sliding about 0.2% although shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 are now down over 0.5% as a group.

In company news, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( VRTX ) is 3.2% at $74.60 a share, just a few cents off its intra-day low and the drug developer reporting interim Phase IIb test results for its investigational kinase 3 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis, saying the drug met its primary endpoints with statistically significant responses but investors grew concerned about its adverse-event rates.

Overall, more than half - or 51.2% - of the patients in the pooled VX-509 group experienced some adverse event, well above the 38.0% rate for patients who received placebos. Most of the observed adverse events were characterized as mild to moderate.

In other sector news,

(+) WBMD, Buys back over 5.5 mln shares now owned by Carl Icahn for $32.08 apiece, or $177.3 mln overall.

(-) VAR, Receives 510( K ) clearance from the FDA for its knowledge-based treatment planning software for radiation oncology.



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: K , VRTX

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