Health Care Sector Update for 02/28/2018: GILD,SGYP,CPH.TO,HTBX,CODX

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.89%

PFE -1.01%

ABT -0.17%

MRK -0.64%

AMGN -0.95%

Health care stocks extended their prior declines in recent trade, including a more than 0.9% decline for the NYSE Health Care Index. Also, shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down almost 1.3% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was losing more than 1.6%.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

- Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) was fractionally lower in late Wednesday trading, reversing a small gain earlier in the session that followed the biotech company's saying Ontario officials said its Epclusa hepatitis C medication is eligible for coverage under the provincal drug-benefits program. According to the company, the decision allows all eligible drug benefit recipients to receive increased access to treatment, regardless of the severity of their disease. Patients also will no longer have to wait for their disease to progress before starting the 12-week treatment regiment.

In other sector news:

+ Heat Biologics ( HTBX ) rose more than 14% after Wednesday reporting positive interim results from Phase II testing of a drug combination including its HS-110 drug candidate in patients with lung cancer. Of the 35 patients studied, 14 patients - or about 40% - achieved disease control while another six patients demonstrated a partial response. Evaluable patients showed overall response and disease control rates of 26% and 67%, respectively.

+ Co-Diagnostics ( CODX ) also climbed more than 14% during Wednesday trading after the molecular diagnostics company said its ongoing research and development activities are yielding "positive" results and demonstrating the capabilities of co-primers in multiplex tests for SNP detection. In a statement, the company plans to use proprietary software and patent-pending co-primer technology to provide molecular testing solutions to enterprise clients.

+ Synergy Pharmaceuticals ( SGYP ) rose over 4% soon after Wednesday's opening bell, topping out at $1.96 a share, after the specialty drugmaker said it sold exclusive Canadian rights to develop, market and distribute its Trulance drug treatment for chronic idiopathic constipation to Canadian drugmaker Cipher Pharmaceuticals (CPH.TO). Under the terms of the licensing pact, Synergy will receive a $5 million upfront payment from Cipher and is eligible for another milestone payment as well as royalties from product sales throughout Canada. The agreement also calls on Synergy to manufacture and supply Cipher with finished product.

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: GILD , HTBX , CODX ,

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