Healthcare Stocks Up Briskly in Afternoon Surge; Galectin Therapeutics Surges on Announcement Speculation


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Healthcare stocks were rebounding Tuesday following several days of extended losses, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index adding 0.9% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 also climbing 0.9% as a group.

In company news, Galectin Therapeutics ( GALT ) jumped as much as 27% Tuesday, more than recouping Monday's steep slide in its share price after the biotech company said it will release results from Phase I testing of its GR-MD-02 drug candidate in patients with fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis early next week.

Investors leaped on the nearly one-week notice for a March 31 news release and a pre-market conference call by CEO Peter Taber on April 1 as a positive omen for the drug. The company said it will issue data from the first of three eight-person co-horts begun in early January and randomized to have six patients treated with GR-MD-02 and two others receiving a placebo.

The early-stage trial was intended to evaluate safety, tolerability and efficacy of single and multiple doses of GR-MD-02, a complex carbohydrate drug that targets a protein critical in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease and fibrosis. Pre-clinical data has shown success for the drug reversing fibrosis and cirrhosis, GALT said.

GALT shares were ahead 12.3% at $16.39 apiecein recent trade, earlier climbing to an intra-day high of $18.61, up 27.6%. The stock closed 6.5% lower Monday after the company reported a $21.9 million net loss, including one-time items, during 2013 compared with a $10.9 million loss during the prior year period. It had no revenues.

The company late Friday also filed a shelf registration to sell up to $100 million of its stock, debt or derivative securities. Selling shareholders also may offer up to 500,000 additional shares.

In other sector news,

(+) BGMD, Hits new 52-week high Tuesday after saying its BGM Galectin-3 test during three clinical trials correctly identified elevated levels of a protein marker in the bloodstream for severe cardiac events.

(-) PDEX, Launches offering to existing shareholders of subscription rights to purchase a pro-rata portion of the company's shares at $1.90 each by April 25. Proceeds will used to pursue strategic opportunities and for working capital.

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.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: GALT

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