Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks eased somewhat Monday afternoon, paring larger gains earlier in the session and the the NYSE Health Care Index still trading about 0.3% higher in late trade. Also today, shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up almost 0.4% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was slipped 0.1% shortly before today's closing bell.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
+ Boston Scientific ( BSX ) touched a more than 13-year high on Monday, rising almost 17% to its highest share price since September 2004 at $37.30 a share prior to an early-afternoon trading halt fueled by reports Stryker Corp ( SYK ) recently made a takeover offer for the rival medical-device manufacturer in a deal that would create a health care behemoth worth a combined $110 billion. In a statement, Boston Scientific said it was aware of the reports Stryker may be pursuing a deal but said it would not comment directly on market rumors or speculation. It was not clear whether Boston Scientific was interested in pursuing a deal or what Stryker was willing to pay, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the potential deal, citing people familiar with the matter. A Stryker spokesman also told several news outlets this afternoon it was company policy to not comment on potential mergers and acquisitions.
In other sector news:
+ Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals ( TTPH ) climbed as much as 10% on Monday after the drug-maker reported positive data for its eravacycline drug candidate, which is now under review by U.S. and European to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections. The data showed favorable clinical and microbiological responses for eravacycline against Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter baumannii as well as demonstrating resistant phenotypes and genotypes, it said.
+ Can-Fite Biopharma Ltd ( CANF ) climbed as much as 9% during Monday trading after the early-stage drugmaker reported new pre-clinical data supporting its choice of the primary endpoint for an ongoing phase II study of its Namodenoson drug candidate in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. According to the company, Namodenoson demonstrated a highly significant effect against inflammation, necrosis, fibrosis and biliary hyperplasia in animals treated with an oral formulation of the drug. Namodenoson also produced a dramatic reduction in the ALT and AST liver enzymes to normal levels. Safety data also showed Namodenoson has a favorable profile and lack of hepatotoxicity in patients, the company said.
- Neuralstem ( CUR ) rose Monday, at one point climbing almost 5%, after saying it has received a $150,000 contract from U.S. Department of Defense to support its NSI-566 human neural stem cell line as a potential treatment for traumatic brain injuries. The upcoming research is expected to culminate with Neuralstem filing of an investigative new drug application to conduct clinical trials in patients with traumatic brain injuries.