Sector Update: Health Care


Healthcare stocks were broadly higher Monday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index climbing about 0.4% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 gaining nearly 0.7% as a group.

In company news, Ampio Pharmaceuticals ( AMPE ) rallied after the company said it expects to file a biologics license application for its Ampion drug candidate early in 2015 and assured investors it has sufficient funds to continue operations for at least the next 16 months.

In a letter to shareholders released this morning, the drug-maker said barring any additional complications with its current STEP trial, it should file the biologics license application by March 31, 2015. The company last week said a supplier mishandled the drug, exposing it to near-freezing temperatures and possibly affecting its efficacy, casting doubt on the study results.

AMPE said it believes useful data can still be obtained from the STEP study within several weeks, although it also said if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is unable to accept those results it's unlikely it would repeat the study again.

Instead, the company would then rely on positive results from another study completed late last year as well as data from a multiple-injections study in the supporting documents for the biologics license application.

The company also said it has enough cash on hand to maintain operations through 2015 while completing planned clinical trials and filing for regulatory approvals as long as they do not directly commercialize either of their two lead drugs.

AMPE shares were up nearly 6% this afternoon at $5.09 apiece, earlier climbing to a session high of $5.56 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $4.83 to $10.86 a share, dropping over 23% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) ITMN, (+35.9%) Agrees to $8.3 bln buyout offer from Roche ( RHHBY ), which will pay ITMN shareholders $74 for each share they own.

(-) RGDO, (-51.8%) Permanently halts enrollment in Phase III trial of Revolixys Kit, its lead candidate aimed at precisely controlling blood clotting following analysis of the first 3.250 patients.

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: AMPE , RHHBY

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