Health Care Sector Update for 04/23/2018: DRNA,ALNY,HSIC,BHVN,AKRX,FMS

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.13%

PFE +0.40%

ABT -0.52%

MRK +2.24%

AMGN +1.80%

Health care stocks still were moderately higher, including a nearly 0.3% gain for the NYSE Health Care Index in recent trade. Also today, shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 0.3% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was losing about 0.2% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

- Dicerna Pharmaceuticals ( DRNA ) stumbled Monday, sliding over 8% lower in recent trade after the drugmaker settled its litigation with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY ), prompting a Neutral investment rating and a $13 price target at Chardan Capital Markets. Alnylam filed its lawsuit against Dicerna in 2015, alleging the comany misappropriated some of its trade secrets, including those originally developed at Merck ( MRK ) associated with RNAi assets and were sold to Alnylam. Under the terms of the settlement between the pharmaceutical companies - which Dicerna described as "relatively benign," Alnylam will receive a $2 million upfront payment plus 983,208 shares of Dicerna's common stock worth about $11.8 million at Friday's closing price for Dicerna shares. Dicerna will also pay Alnylam an additional $13 million over the next four years, dependent on future revenue that Dicerna generates from future GalXC delivery technology-based partnerships.

In other sector news:

+ Henry Schein ( HSIC ) climbed over 7% Monday afternoon, with shares of the health care technology provider continuing to grind higher after disclosing plans to spin off its animal health business and merge it with Vets First Choice, a technology-enabled health care services provider for veterinarians. The new company will keep the Vets First Corp name and the deal is being structured as a reverse Morris trust transaction that should be tax-free to Henry Schein shareholders, who will own 63% of the new entity. Ben Shaw, Vets First Choice chief executive will reprise that role at the combined companies.

+ Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company ( BHVN ) advanced as much as 6% higher on Monday after reporting additional secondary outcomes from a pair of Phase III trials for its rimegepant migraine drug candidate. According to the company, Rimegepant produced broad and clinically important benefits beyond the initial registrational endpoints, with a durable effect achieved with pain freedom lasting up to 48 hours following a single dose.

-Akorn (AKRX) tumbled Monday after saying it filed a complaint in Delaware Chancery Court seeking to force Fresenius Kabi AG (FMS) to follow through with its proposed acquisition of the generic drugmaker. It said Fresenius' attempt to scuttle the proposed buyout using findings from an ongoing investigation are a "breach of the merger agreement" and "completely without merit."

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: DRNA , ALNY , MRK , HSIC , BHVN

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