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Healthcare Stocks Broadly Mixed; Prima Biomed Still on the Mat After Cancer Vaccine Sputters in Phase II Trial

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 9/18/2013 2:20:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: MCK;PBMD

Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.12%

PFE +1.80%

ABT +1.52%

MRK +0.60%

AMGN +1.30%

Healthcare stocks are mixed, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising 0.5% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 are down nearly 0.5% as a group.

In company news, Prima Biomed Ltd. ( PBMD ) is down nearly 35% at $1.53 a share, climbing off a new 52-week low of $1.26 that followed the biotech company's saying its CVac drug candidate failed to show statistically significant improvement in patient survival in Phase II testing in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer patients in first or second remission.

The company said the study was not adequately powered to detect statistical significance, and the estimate of median progression-free survival for all randomized patients resulted in no observed difference between the prospective cancer vaccine and control groups.

But the company said it believes it is still too early to make conclusions based on overall survival data, adding it will continue to monitor patient outcomes from the current trial until overall survival data matures.

In other sector news,

(+) ATOS (+29.9%) McKesson's ( MCK ) medical-surgical unit will distribute and sell Atossa Genetic's MASCT device and patient collection kits nationwide.

(-) AGEN, (-3.3%) Reaches agreements to sell nearly 2.2 million shares to institutional investors, generating $6.5 mln in gross proceeds. The deal also includes five-year warrants to buy up to 650,000 more shares, exercisable at $3.75 starting in six months.