Healthcare stocks were drifting lower this afternoon, with the
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.1% and shares of
healthcare companies in the S&P 500 down about 0.2% as a
In company news, shares of GW Pharma (
) rose Friday after U.S. regulators gave fast-track designation to
its experimental drug intended for a severe form of childhood
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision will provide the
company with greater access to agency resources, helping expedite
the development of drugs intended to treat serious conditions and
fill unmet medical needs. The FDA earlier this year designated
GWPH's Epidiolex drug candidate with orphan-drug status, clearing
the cannabidiol product for limited use treating Lennox-Gastaut
The company anticipates meeting with FDA officials in coming
months to discuss the company's investigational new drug
application for Epidolex ahead of two planned Phase III trials of
the drug next year.
GWPH shares were up about 5.4% at $71.43 apiece, earlier
climbing to a session high of $74.90 a share. The stock has a
52-week range of $8.46 to $86.45 a share, rising almost 720% over
the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) MBII, (+2.6%) Prices offering of 4.5 mln shares at $9.50
each, a 1% discount to Thursday's closing price and generating
around $42.75 mln in gross proceeds.
(-) NVAX, (-8.6%) Prices offering of 25 mln shares of its common
stock at $4 apiece, a 12% discount to Thursday's closing price for
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