Sector Update: Health Care

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Health care stocks were lower, with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index falling 0.4% and shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 declining 0.3% as a group.

In company news, Regado Biosciences ( RGDO ) shares fell Thursday after U.S. regulators late Wednesday placed a clinical hold on testing of the company's REG1 drug candidate, one week after RGDO said it was voluntarily suspending a Phase III trial of the investigational anticoagulant drug to study allergic reactions among some of the patients using the drug.

According to the company, the agency action was taken to formalize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's involvement in any future decision to resume patient enrollment and dosing in the REG1 trial.

The company July 2 said it was beginning an unplanned review of trial data by its Data Safety Monitoring Board, including a full benefit-risk analysis of all 3,234 patients enrolled so far, with a focus on "serious adverse events related to allergic reactions." The review is expected to take about eight weeks, with RGDO and the trial administrators remaining blinded to the study data during that period.

RGDO shares were off 7% at $2.51 apiece in recent trade, earlier falling to $2.43 to establish a new all-time low for the third time in five sessions. Prior to today, the stock had dropped 60% since the company announced the trial suspension, including a 58% plunge last Thursday.

Overall, the stock was down nearly 81% from its March 19 high of $14.10 a share through Wednesday's close and slipping 32.5% from its $4 initial public offering price last August.

In other sector news,

(+) CRY, (+6.7%) Names Pat Mackin to be president and CEO, effective Sept. 2. The former Medtronic ( MDT ) executive replaces Steven Anderson, who will become executive board chairman at the company. Mackin also is expected to join the CRY board.

(-) OCRX, (-15.9%) Price public offering of 4.2 mln shares at $6 each, a 15.8% discount to Wednesday's closing price. Net proceeds will fund clinical testing of its OCR-002 investigational drug to treat complications of cirrhosis and acute liver failure.



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: RGDO , MDT

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