Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks were edging lower in recent trading, including a less than 0.1% decline for the NYSE Health Care Index this afternoon. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were down about 0.1% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was dropping over 0.8% today.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
- ImmunoGen ( IMGN ) declined Thursday, sinking as much as 8, after the drugmaker priced an upsized, $150.7 million public offering of 13.7 million shares of its common stock at $11 apiece, representing a 3.4% discount to Wednesday's closing price for the stock. The deal was increased in size by 1.7 million shares shortly before pricing and the company also issued a 30-day option to underwriters to buy up to 2.055 million shares to cover possible over-allotments. It expects to use net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, for research and development and clinical trials as well as for potential acquisitions.
In other sector news:
- Merck ( MRK ) was moderately lower Thursday afternoon, slipping almost 1%, after saying it has struck a deal with UK-based 4D Pharmaceutics to conduct an early stage trial studying a combination of Merck's Keytruda cancer drug and 4D's MRx0518 live biotherapeutic candidate in patients with solid tumors. MRx0518 has shown therapeutic potential in a variety of tumor types in pre-clinical models and the upcoming phase I study will evaluate safety, tolerability and preliminary clinical benefits of the drug combination in patients with certain forms of melanoma, renal, bladder and non-small cell lung cancer, 4D said.
- Proteostasis Therapeutics ( PTI ) dropped over 25% on Thursday after announcing positive results from an ongoing, 14-day dosing study of a combination of its lumacaftor drug candidate and Vertex Pharmaceuticals' (VRX,VRX.TO) ivacaftor treatment for cystic fibrosis helped improve a measure of lung function in patients although the change was not large enough to be considered statistically significant. The Orkambi drug combination also showed improvement in sweat chloride, body mass index, weight and blood glucose levels in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as reversing hyperglycemia in a patient subgroup with diabetes, the company said, adding it was still trying to overcome an acute drop in the volume of air that patients can blow out per second of forced expiration associated with lumacaftor.