Sector Update: Healthcare
Healthcare stocks are narrowly lower, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling 0.2% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 sliding about 0.1% as a group.
In company news, NeoStem Inc. ( NBS ) is up nearly 7% at $9.23 a share, holding within 6 cents of its best price since July 2011 after the cellular-therapy company said it received a $147,765 grant to fund studies whose results could qualify it for an additional grant of us to $1.5 million.
The grant, from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is to fund studies to investigate the potential of very small embryonic-like stem cells in treating difficult to heal wounds in an animal model of scleroderma.
More than 300,000 people in the U.S. live with scleroderma, an autoimmune, connective tissue disorder that causes fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, NBS said.
In other sector news,
(+) VRTX, (+0.9%) The Canadian drug-maker was selected to join the S&P 500 following the close of trading on Sept. 20. Also new to broad market gauge will be Ametek ( AME ), with the two stocks replacing Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD ) and SAIC Inc. ( SAI ).
(-) PLX, (-12.3%) Announces plans for a $60-mln private placement of convertible notes due 2018. Net proceeds will fund clinical trials of its product candidates as well as research and development.