Health Care Sector Update for 02/21/2018: COLL,UTHR,MRK

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.15%

PFE +0.43%

ABT +0.76%

MRK -0.05%

AMGN +0.74%

Health care stocks moved higher Wednesday, including a nearly 0.4% gain for the NYSE Health Care Index in recent trade. Also today, shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up slightly more than 0.4% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index were hanging on to a 0.7% advance today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

- Collegium Pharmaceutical ( COLL ) declined over 6% on Wednesday, touching a session low of $25.70 a share, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration criticized the specialty pharmaceuticals company for failing to "adequately communicate information about the serious risks associated with (its) Xtampza ER" extended-release pain-killer capsules. In particular, the agency said Collgium misbranded the oxycodone-based medication during a June 2017 trade show in Minneapolis and made "false or misleading representations" and sidestepped "the serious public health impacts of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to overdose and death."

In other sector news:

+ Merck ( MRK ) climbed almost 1% during Wednesday trading after the drug-maker announced its $394 million purchase of Viralytics Ltd, paying AUD1.75 per share, or AUD502 million overall for Australian oncolytic immunotherapy company and gaining rights to its investigational product candidates. The transaction already has been unanimously approved by board members at both companies and the Viralytics' board also is recommending its shareholders also vote in favor of the deal, absent of any superior proposal offer and an independent expert concluding it is in the best interest of shareholders. The deal should close during the April-to-June calendar period.

- Biotech firm United Therapeutics ( UTHR ) tumbled almost 11% after reporting adjusted Q4 net income trailing Wall Street expectations and upstaging above-consensus revenue for the same period. Excluding one-time items, the specialty drugmaker reported net income of $3.89 per share compared with $4.06 per share during the same quarter last year and missing the $4.56 per share consensus estimate. Revenue grew 13.6% over $409 million during the year-ago period to $464.7 million and exceeded the $420.6 million Street view.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: COLL , MRK , UTHR

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