Healthcare stocks are higher, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector
Index advancing 0.3% and shares of healthcare companies in the
S&P 500 adding 0.7% as a group.
In company news, Prima BioMed Ltd (
) is soaring, climbing 76% to an intra-day high of $1.90 a share
after the Australian biotech company's chief executive officer
presented data on its prospective cancer vaccine as part of broader
presentation this morning on immunocellular cell therapy at an
industry conference in London.
Matthew Lehman had been scheduled to speak at 1:55 p.m. local
time - or 8:55 a.m. ET - at the 11th Annual Commercial Translation
of Regenerative Medicine, with his remarks slated to include recent
clincial data of PBMD's CVac drug candidate as a case study. A
company spokeswoman said in an email message there was no new
information disclosed during the presentation.
Lehman and other company executives earlier this month discussed
CVac at length during a conference call with analysts, saying they
were moving forward with Phase II testing of CVac with 210 patients
with epithelial ovarian cancer. That followed Phase II testing in
63 patients indicating a 50% increase in progression-free survival
to 7.7 months compared to observation-only patients at 5.1
Traders online also were pointing to Lehman's purchase Thursday
of 14,806 American depository shares for $15,958.19, or $1.07 a
share, boosting his ownership of PBMD ADRs by 82.7% to 32,706
shares. He also owns nearly 1.62 million of the company's
Australia-listed shares plus options to purchase another 2.1
million shares, according to a new ASX regulatory filing.
U.S. volume was much heavier than usual Monday, with some two
million shares having changed hands as of midday, well above the
daily average of 98,584 shares. At last look, shares were up 49% to
In other sector news,
(+) DVA, (+8.3%) Kidney dialysis provider DaVita traded higher
late Friday after Medicare issued a surprise rule that will result
in no payment cuts to those firms next year, tabling a proposed 12%
cut. Rival Fresenius (
) also is up 7.2%.
(-) AMPE, (-0.1%) TheStreet.com urges caution about recent
reports forecasting speedy regulatory approval of the company's
diabetic macular edema drug, pointing to a recent SEC filing
hinting a third trial of the drug may be required.