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Sector Update: Healthcare

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 9/11/2013 8:21:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: AZN;MRK;PSTI

Healthcare shares are flat to lower in pre-market, while shares in Pluristem Therapeutics ( PSTI ), which is developing placenta-based cell therapies, are up more than 6% pre-market. PSTI said it has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering methods to treat peripheral artery disease with placental-derived adherent stromal cells.

The treatment for PAD is one of PSTI's primary drug development areas. Based on priority date, the expected expiration date of this patent is at least until 2028.

And, Merck & Co. ( MRK ) and AstraZeneca plc ( AZN ) entered into a licensing agreement for Merck's oral small molecule inhibitor of WEE1 kinase.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Merck a $50 million upfront fee. In addition Merck will be eligible to receive future payments tied to development and regulatory milestones, plus sales-related payments and tiered royalties. AstraZeneca will be responsible for all future clinical development, manufacturing and marketing.