Sector Update: Healthcare

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Healthcare stocks were mostly higher, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising 0.5% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 up about 0.5% as a group.

In company news, shares of Sangamo BioSciences ( SGMO ) rallied to a 13-year high Thursday after the company late Wednesday reported positive clinical trial results for an experimental treatment for HIV.

SGMO has been working on gene-editing technology that can be used to insert a corrective gene into patients, replacing a defective one. According to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the company was able to take T-cells from HIV patients and modify them by knocking out a gene called CCR5, providing the patient with a natural resistance to HIV infection after the cells were reinserted.

Some of the patients treated with the SB-728-T therapy had lower virus levels after 12 weeks of treatment, according to SGMO.

SGMO shares were ahead just nearly 21% at $23.69 apiece, after earlier climbing to their best level since January 2001 at $23.95 each.

In other sector news,

(+) TKMR, (+3.9%) Receives Fast Track designation from FDA for its anti-Ebola viral therapeutic.

(-) BIOL, (-10.2%) Reports Q4 GAAP loss of $0.06 per share, trailing Capital IQ consensus by $0.02. Revenue falls 20.1% year over year to $15.2 mln, missing Street view by $600,000.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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