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Sector Update: Healthcare

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 10/4/2013 3:53:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: STJ

Healthcare stocks are mostly higher with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index advancing 0.6% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 are now up 1.1% as a group.

In company news, St. Jude Medical Inc. ( STJ ) is up 3.1% at $56.52 a share, earlier climbing to a new 52-week high of $57.17 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently signaled it may be close to approving a heart-failure detection device developed by a medical-device startup.

STJ stands first in line to buy privately held CardioMEMS, already owning a 19% stake in the company and can purchase full control of the firm and its Champion implantable heart monitor for $375 million. CardioMEMs is slated to meet again with the FDA's Circulatory Systems Device panel next Wednesday, prompting a positive research note today from Leerink Swan analyst Danielle Antalffy.

The analyst said recent documents released by the agency ahead of the Oct. 9 meeting acknowledged its effectiveness, according to MarketWatch and other media sources. The advisory panel two years turned down the company's 401k request but Antalffy is now giving CardioMEMS a 90% chance at winning a recommendation this time around.

In other sector news,

(+) DSCO, FDA agrees to the company's updated product specifications for Surfaxin intratracheal suspension and approves it for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants.

(-) LCI, Proposes underwritten public offering of new shares by the generic drug-maker as well as shares now held by selected shareholders. The number of shares to be offered and by whom has not yet been disclosed.