Sector Update: Healthcare Shares Higher Pre-Market; Lexicon Surges 21% on Glucose Inhibitor's Success


Healthcare stocks:

JNJ: +0.36%

PFE: +0.26%

ABT: -0.12%

MRK: +0.76%

AMGN: +0.01%

Healthcare shares are higher in pre-market, while shares in Lexicon Pharmaceuticals ( LXRX ) are up more than 21% pre-bell after the company said that its LX4211 product, a glucose inhibitor to treat patients with type 2 diabetes with severe kidney impairment, met primary endpoints.

The drug aims to reduce glucose levels after eating, a key objective of diabetes therapy. The shares are well past the top of their 52-week range of $1.55 - $2.75.

And, Merck ( MRK ) announces a restructuring this morning that includes about 8,500 job cuts. The company expects to realize about $2.5 billion in annual net cost savings by the end of 2015 and estimates that $1.0 billion, or 40 percent, of the savings will be realized by the end of 2014.

Total pre-tax costs for the new restructuring program are estimated to range between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion.

Finally, Hyperion Therapeutics ( HPTX ) has granted exclusive rights to Swedish Orphan Biovitrum to distribute its Ravicti, an oral liquid for the chronic treatment of urea cycle disorders, in the Middle East.

The rights were granted on a named patient basis. No financial details were given. Hyperion is unchanged pre-bell in a 52-week range of $10.00 - $28.34.

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: HPTX , LXRX , MRK

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