Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks trimmed some of their prior losses Wednesday afternoon, including a nearly 0.7% retreat for the the NYSE Health Care index. Also, shares of health care stocks in the S&P 500 index fell just over 0.7% while the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index also was dropping less than 0.1%.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
+ Myriad Genetics ( MYGN ) raced to a nine-year high on Wednesday, climbing over 19% to its best share price since March 2009 at $44.31, after analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their investment rating for the company's stock to overweight from equal weight and setting a $55 price target. The upgrade follows the biotech company last last month saying its BRACAnalysis CDx diagnostics test successfully identified germline BRCA mutations in patients with advanced ovarian cancer and then identified patients likely to respond positively to a RARP inhibitor jointly developed by Merck ( MRK ) and AstraZeneca ( AZN ). Patients in the study who were subjected to Lynparza maintenance therapy demonstrated a statistically-significant improvement in progression-free survival compared to patients treated with a placebo.
In other sector news:
+ Scynexis ( SCYX ) was soaring during Wednesday trading, topping out with a nearly 15% advance, after saying its SCY-078 oral drug candidate met its primary endpoint of a high clinical cure rate in female patients with vaginal yeast infections compared to patients treated with fluconazole. SCY-078 was found to be well tolerated and produced high rates of clinical cures and mycological eradication. Pending an end-of-Phase II meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration, the company said it believes the 600-milligram dose -- consisting of two 300 milligrams of SCY-078 every 12 hours -- will be the optimal dose regimen for phase III testing. Following the positive results, analysts at Needham & Co. Wednesday raised their investment rating for Scynexis shares to buy from hold and also setting a $5 price target.
- Pfizer ( PFE ) has pared most of its earlier losses, recovering from a nearly 1% decline, that followed the drug maker Wednesday announcing plans to focus on three core businesses: innovative medicines, established medicines, and consumer healthcare. The innovative medicines business will commercialize the company's global portfolio of sterile injectable and anti-infective medicines. The established medicines business will include the majority of the company's off-patent solid oral dose legacy brands along with selected generic medications. The consumer healthcare business will include all of the company's over-the-counter medicines. The changes will become effective at the start of the company's FY19 on Jan. 1, 2019.
- ArQule (ARQL) slid as much as 8% lower after the biopharmaceuticals company priced a $60.5 million public offering of 11 million shares of its common stock at $5.50 apiece, representing a 10.6% discount to Tuesday's closing price. ArQule also issued a 30-day option to underwriters participating in the deal to buy up to 1.65 million additional shares for potential over-allotments. Net proceeds will be used to fund ArQule's core clinical program.