Healthcare Stocks Lag Broader Markets; Prima BioMed Jumps 44% After Cancer Drug Picks Up Regulatory OKs
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Healthcare stocks finished moderately higher with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index adding 0.5% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 climbing 0.6% as a group.
In company news, Australia-based oncology biotechnology firm Prima BioMed ( PBMD ) jumped in U.S. trading Thursday, climbing 44% to finish at $1.68 a share after a protocol update in a study of its epithelial ovarian cancer treatment candidate CAN-004.
The company says multiple jurisdictions have now approved its amended CAN-004 protocol including regulators in Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Belarus. The CAN-004 trial was approved by the Belgian regulators in January.
The CAN-004 amendment has also been approved by a number of ethics committees and institutional review boards, including sites in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Lithuania. Prior to enrolling patients into the amended CAN-004 protocol, a positive review is required from the competent regulatory authority and the ethics committee for each site, the company said.
In other sector news,
(-) TEVA, Gives in to profit-taking despite a 5% increase in the drug-maker's quarterly dividend and Q4 results above Street expectations and Q4 results that beat analyst forecasts.