Health Care Sector Update for 05/15/2018: NVS,JNJ,XENE,TPIV,CRON

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.96%

PFE -0.67%

ABT -2.53%

MRK -0.98%

AMGN -2.33%

Health care stocks were mostly lower Tuesday afternoon, including a nearly 1.3% decline for the NYSE Health Care Index in recent trading. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down more than 1.4% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was losing over 1.2%.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

Novartis ( NVS ) fell Tuesday, dropping over 1%, dispite the drugmaker disclosing plans to begin a proof-of-concept study seeking to compare the mechanistic superiority of its IL-17A drug candidate with its Cosentyx medication over the inhibition of IL-23 with Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ ) Tremfya approved medication in patients with psoriatic plaques resistant to treatment with Johnson & Johnson's Stelara medication. Results from the study are expected in 2019. The primary endpoint of the upcoming study will be the proportion of patients achieving clear or almost clear plaques.

In other sector news:

+ Xenon Pharma ( XENE ) was posting a double-digit gain on Tuesday after saying it will present positive interim data from phase I testing of its XEN1101 drug candidate to treat epilepsy at an industry conference in Madrid, Spain, this week. The trial is assessing the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending doses of the Kv7 potassium channel opener for use in patients with epilepsy and potentially other neurological disorders.

- TapImmune ( TPIV ) was 1% lower on Tuesday after announcing a deal to acquire privately held Marker Therapeutics in a proposed merger of equals. Under terms of the transaction, shareholders of each firm will receive equal 50% shares of the combined company prior to issuing additional stock as part of potential funding actions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Cronos Group ( CRON ) was nearly 4% lower on Tuesday, paring a 7.5% decline earlier in the session that followed the Canadian medical marijuana company reporting a small Q1 net loss while revenue increased sharply over year-ago levels. Net loss for the three months ended March 31 was CND0.01 per share, or $0.0078 per share, unchanged from the same quarter last year. Sales rose to CND2.9 million from just CND500,000 during the year-ago period.

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: NVS , JNJ , XENE , CRON

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