Healthcare stocks were higher Monday with the NYSE Healthcare
Sector Index rising 0.7% and shares of healthcare companies in the
S&P 500 gaining 0.8% as a group.
In company news, AstraZeneca (
) share were up about 1% in late Monday trading after the
drug-maker earlier today reported progress in a clinic trial of its
ticagrelor drug candidate in patients with high-risk cardiovascular
disease, completing enrollment in the Phase III testing four months
ahead of schedule.
Overall, more than 13,500 patients worldwide with peripheral
artery disease have now been enrolled in the trial, including
around 2700 in the United States from over 300 trial sites across
the country. The trial was designed to evaluate the effects of
ticagrelor, which will be marketed commercially as Brilinta,
compared to a previously approved blood-thinner, Plavix
(clopidogrel), on cardiovascular events.
AZN today also said it was expanding its late-stage testing of
ticagrelor to two more studies intended to compare the efficacy of
the drug with aspirin in reducing major vascular events in patients
with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attacks.
AZN shares were up 1% at $65.95 each in recent trade, earlier
climbing as high as $66.21 during today's session. The stock has a
52-week range of $46.01 to $68.76 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) CCM, Shares spiked after the radiotherapy and diagnostic
imaging chain was one of nine stocks selected to join the NASDAQ
Golden Dragon China Index (HXC) March 24 following its quarterly
(-) NDZ, CIBC cuts investment rating to Underperform from Sector
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