Health Care Sector Update for 04/16/2018: SHPS,CLDX,ALKS,APRI

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +1.02%

PFE +0.59%

ABT +1.56%

MRK +2.62%

AMGN +0.16%

Health care stocks were higher this afternoon, including a nearly 0.9% gain for the NYSE Health Care Index in recent trade. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up almost 0.9% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was losing almost 0.6% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

+ Pharmaceuticals giant Shire plc ( SHPG ) still as narrowly higher in late Monday trade, giving back most of a nearly 3% gain soon after today's opening bell that followed Shire agreeing to sell its oncology business to France's Servier for $2.4 billion in cash. The deal is part of a wider plan by Shire to selectively dispose its non-strategic assets and sharpen its focus on "leadership" in its core competencies. The oncology unit generated around $262 million in revenue during 2017, and Shire said the transaction represents a multiple of 9.2 times its 2017 revenue.

In other sector news:

- Alkermes ( ALKS ) rose Monday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed to review the company's new drug application for its ALKS 5461 product candidate to treat major depressive disorder. Under FDA rules, the agency now has until Jan. 31, 2019, to decide whether to approve the once-daily oral medication for patients with an inadequate response to standard antidepressant therapies.

- Apricus ( APRI ) dropped almost 34% to a worst-ever 26 cents a share after federal regulators said at a recent meeting it needs to reformulate its Vitaros erectile dysfunction cream. The company also it has begun discussions with interested parties for the U.S. rights for Vitaros, saying the costs of the upcoming reformulation and additional Phase III testing exceeds its current resources as well as its ability to raise more funding.

- Celldex Therapeutics ( CLDX ) plunged to a record low on Monday, dropping to a worst-ever 76 cents a share after the specialty pharmaceuticals said it has pulled the plug on its glembatumumab vedotin drug candidate after the prospective cancer treatment failed to meet the primary endpoint of progress-free survival compared with the Xeloda chemotherapy drug during Phase IIb teating in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer that overexpress gpNMB. Glembatumumab vedotin also showed no significant advantage for several key secondary endpoints, including overall response rate, duration of response and overall survival.

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: ALKS , APRI , CLDX

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