Healthcare stocks were retreating Friday with the NYSE
Healthcare Sector Index slipping abouty 0.1% and shares of
healthcare companies in the S&P 500 declining 0.3% as a
In company news, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (
) shares were narrowly lower Friday, receiving little apparent lift
from an European advisory panel recommending additional approvals
for the company's drug treatment for cystic fibrosis.
VRTX shares were down about 0.7% this afternoon at $92.52 each,
earlier falling to a session low of $91.97 a share. The stock has a
52-week range of $58.06 to $98.80 a share, climbing 15% over the
past 12 months.
The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use late
yesterday issued a positive opinion recommending approval of VRTX's
Kalydeco medication for eight additional gating mutations of cystic
fibrosis. The recommendations now goes to the European Commission,
which typically decides marketing approvals within three to four
Kalydeco was first approved for use in Europe two years ago for
people with cystic fibrosis ages 6 and older who have at least one
copy of the G551D mutation, the most common gating mutation.
The company said the eight additional gating mutations included
in today's recommendation are: G178R, S549N, S549R, G551S, G1244E,
S1251N, S1255P and G1349D. In Europe, approximately 250 people ages
6 and older have one of these non-G551D gating mutations.
In other sector news,
(+) DRRX, (+9.6%) Secures $20 mln in debt financing with Oxford
Finance, with the fixed-rate 7.96%, four-year term loan requiring
interest-only payments during the first 18 months and all principal
and interest repaid by July 1, 2018.
(-) IG, (-2.8%) Settles legal fight with Mallinckrodt (
) and Nuvo Research (NRI.TO), agreeing to delay launch of generic
version of Pennsaid osteoarthritis drug until March 28, 2015. IG
received tentative FDA approval for the drug May 7.
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