Sector Update: Healthcare
Healthcare stocks were lower with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling 1.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 declining 0.5% as a group.
In company news, Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA ) shares have extended their recent recovery into the new year, with the stock gaining rising as much as 14% today before easing to its current range around $7.37 a share, up 8%.
Over the past several months, ARIA has been whipsawed on developments involving its Iclusig leukemia drug. Just this week, the FDA approved revised prescribing information and a new risk evaluation and mitigation strategy allowing for immediate resumption of commercial sales of the drug.
The FDA temporarily suspended marketing and commercial distribution of Iclusig in October because of concerns over "cardiac-related events," leading to ARIA shares dropping from around $20 each to a 52 week low of $2.15 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) ORMP, Drug-maker receives patent allowance in Israel and Australia for its platform technology in the oral delivery of proteins. The patent also has been approved in Japan, China, Russia and New Zealand.
(-) VTR, BMO Capital Markets lowers investment rating for the healthcare real estate investment trust's stock to Underperform from Market Perform as part of its 2014 outlook for the sector.