Healthcare stocks were slightly higher, with the NYSE Healthcare
Sector Index holding a 0.3% gain and shares of healthcare companies
in the S&P 500 up 0.2% as a group.
In company news, PTC Therapeutics Inc. (
) rallied Friday after European regulators gave conditional
marketing approval for its Translarna drug candidate to treat
Duchenne muscular dystrophy in patients five years and older.
PTCT shares jumped as much as 87.5% this morning to reach $28.73
apiece, more recently trading around $22.30 a share, up almost 46%.
The stock has a 52-week range of $1.56 to $34.65 a share, declining
about 4.3% through Thursday's close since pricing its initial
public offering of stock last June at 16.00 a share.
The move reverses a 2013 decision by European Medicine Agency's
Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, which rejected
Translarna after saying a Phase II study did not provide convincing
proof of efficacy. The company resubmitted essentially the same
data again although this time the agency was satisfied with the
The European Commission typically endorses agency
recommendations within about three months.
Other drug-makers working on prospective Duchenne muscular
dystrophy treatments also are higher, with Sarepta Therapeutics (
) ahead nearly 5% at $34.06 a share this afternoon while Prosensa
) was up more than 21% at $8.05 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) ZIOP, (+8.5%) Announces results demonstrating anti-tumor
effects of its Ad-RTS-IL-12 DNA-based therapeutic candidate in a
brain cancer model, reducing tumor mass and glioma stem cells as
well as extending survival compared with other treatments.
(-) INO, (-5.9%) Shareholders approve a 4-for-1 reverse split of
the company's common stock