Healthcare stocks were moderately higher Thursday, with the NYSE
Healthcare Sector Index rising about 0.3% and shares of healthcare
companies in the S&P 500 rising 0.5% as a group.
In company news, American depositary shares of Genetic
) continued to rally Thursday, with the genetic-testing services
receiving an upgrade from analysts at Ladenburg Thalmann - one day
after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a further ExParte
Reexamination Certificate to the firm.
The certificate follows the third request for ex parte
re-examination of specific claims by Merial LLC. A re-examination
is the process where a third party can have a patent claim again
reviewed by the patent office to verify the subject matter is
According to acting Chief Executive Tom Howitt, GENE can move
forward with settlement discussions with potential licensees now
that the re-examination issue has been settled.
Ladenburg Thalmann now has a buy rating on the stock, up from
Neutral. It set a price target of $2.50.
GENE advanced as much as 65% Thursday, climbing to an intra-day
high of $2.36 a share. The stock was up 59.5% at $2.28 a share in
recent trade, within a 52-week range of $1.30 to $3.35.
In other sector news,
(+) RTRX, (+52.2%) Acquires privately-held Manchester
Pharmaceuticals LLC for $62.5 mln. Revises guidance, now
forecasting revenue of $10 mln to $12 mln during FY14 and $19 mln
to $21 mln in FY15. Street is at $6.2 mln and $10.8 mln this year
and next, respectively.
(-) DRRX, (-24.9%) FDA issues complete response letter for the
company's Posidur drug candidate, with the agency concluding it
cannot approve the post-surgical treatment for pain because it does
not have enough information whether the drug is safe to use.
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