Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Turn Mixed at Close; Achillion Pharma Spikes After Hep C Drug Candidate Performs Well in Phase II Testing

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Healthcare stocks were mixed in afternoon trade with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.4% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Achillion Pharmaceuticals ( ACHN ) was higher Friday after saying patients treated with its ACH-3102 drug candidate for hepatitis C showed no signs of the virus after four weeks during Phase II testing.

According to the company, all 12 patients taking the drug when combined with Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) Sovaldi Hep C treatment showed no detectable traces of the virus after four weeks. ACHN now plans to begin trials with 12 additional patients for six weeks with a once-daily dose of the two drugs.

ACHN shares were ahead nearly 10% at $9.25 apiece this afternoon, earlier climbing to a new 52-week high of $10.20 a share. GILD also was higher today, rising almost 3% to $99.10 a share today.

In other sector news,

(+) CRMD, FDA accepts Phase III study protocol of Neutrolin drug candidate in hemodialysis patients with a central venous catheter. Also announces strategic pact with Wonik Corp. to sell Neutrolin in South Korea after expected regulatory approval.

(-) CLRB, Prices $12.5 mln public offering of 3.33 mln shares at $3.75 apiece, as well warrants to buy additional 3.33 mln shares at $4.68 each. Issues 1.11 mln shares and warrants in exchange of cancelling $4 mln of convertible debentures.



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: ACHN , GILD

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