Sector Update: Healthcare Shares Flat to Higher; Immunogen up 6% on Licensing to Novartis


Healthcare stocks:

JNJ: +0.93%

PFE: flat

ABT: -0.12%

MRK: +0.04%

AMGN: +0.52%

Healthcare shares are mixed in pre-market trade. Immunogen ( IMGN ) is up 6% after it said it has licensed its antibody-drug conjugate technology to Novartis ( NVS ) to develop anticancer therapeutics to an undisclosed target. NVS is flat at $73.96.

It is the second license to be taken by Novartis under a 2010 agreement between the companies. For each license, Immunogen receives an upfront payment and is entitled to receive milestone payments potentially totaling approximately $200 million plus royalties on sales of any resulting products.

And, Vivus Inc. ( VVUS ) is up 8% after it said it will receive an initial fee of $30 million and potential milestone payments of up to $300 million from granting the U.S. and Canada licensing rights to its STENDRA drug to treat erectile dysfunction to Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. Included in the $300 million is the upfront licensing fee of $30 mln and a $15 mln payment contingent upon a potential label amendment regarding onset-of-action, in addition to royalties on product sales.

Finally, Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. ( ASTM ), a developer of patient-specific expanded multicellular therapies for the treatment of severe chronic cardiovascular diseases, approved a one-for-20 reverse stock split of the company's common stock effective on October 16, 2013. ASTM is down 17% at $0.195.

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: ASTM , IMGN , NVS , VVUS

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