Healthcare Stocks Helping Pace Market Rally; Amgen Climbs on FDA Approval for New Cholesterol Drug
Top Healthcare Stocks
Healthcare stocks are mostly higher, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining 1.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising 1.0% as a group.
In company news, Amgen ( AMGN ) advanced nearly 2% Monday after saying its prospective cholesterol drug reduced so-called bad cholesterol by as much as 76% during late-stage testing.
According to the company, evolocumab significantly reduced LDL cholesterol in patients intolerant to more common anti-cholesterol medications as well as in patients using statins.
One of the Phase III trials found a 37% to 39% drop in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the statin-resistant group compared to a placebo. Used together with a statin, the study found cholesterol levels fell between 55% to 76% in patients receiving evolocumab compared to the control group, AMGN said.
AMGN shares were ahead 2.2% at $123.19 in mid-day trading, earlier climbing to a session high of $124.53 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $94.15 to $128.96 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) BIIB, (+3.4%) U.S, regulators approve the company's Alprolix hemophilia B drug.
(-) MNKD, (-14.7%) Piper Jaffray downgrades to Underweight from Neutral ahead of the company's April 1 meeting with the Food and Drug Administration on its Afrezza diabetes drug. Price target cut to $1.50 from $5 a share.