Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Mostly Lower; Regulus Therapeutics Wins Orphan Drug Designation for Prospective Kidney Disease Treatment

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Health care stocks were moderately lower, with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index slipping about 0.4% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 falling about 0.4% as a group.

In company news, Regulus Therapeutics ( RGLS ) was lower Monday afternoon, with shares of the biotech company getting little apparent help from U.S. regulators desiginating the company's RG-012 experimental therapy with orphan drug status for an inherited form of kidney inflammation.

RG-012 is a single stranded, chemically modified oligonucleotide that binds to the microRNA-21 gene, inhibiting its functions. The orphan drug designation is intended for the treatment of Alport syndrome, a genetic disease characterized by end-stage kidney disease as well as impaired hearing or vision.

RGLS said its next step is likely starting a natural history of Alport syndrome and its progression. It expects to demonstrate human proof-of-concept results in the Phase I testing of RG-101 as a potential treatment of hepatitis C before the end of the year and beginning an early-stage trial of the drug with Alport syndrome patients during the first half of 2015.

The company's shares were down about 1.1% at $6.69 apiece, holding 5 cents over its intra-day low. The stock has a 52-week range of $5.40 to $11.68 a share, sliding 34% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) GILD, (+0.1%) Inks collaboration pact with Sandoz to commercialize its tavaborole topical treatment for fungal infections on toenails following its July 8 FDA approval. GILD will receive $40 mln upfront payment and $25 mln in additional milestone payments.

(-) GNCA, (-2.5%) Begins Phase II dose-optimization trial for its GEN-003 drug candidate to treat Type 2 herpes simplex. Interim results from the trial are expected in mid-2015.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: RGLS

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