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.

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

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ACHN , GILD

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