Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks put up small declines on Tuesday, including a nearly 0.1% slide for the NYSE Health Care Index in late trade. Also, shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down almost 0.1% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was posting a gain of just under 0.3%.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
- Akcea Therapeutics ( AKCA ) slumped badly on Tuesday, at one point sinking almost 29%, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter to the late-stage biopharmaceutical company and subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals ( IONS ) effectively suspending work on its Waylivra drug candidate to treat familial chylomicronemia syndrome. Alcea did not detail any of the objections of the FDA's Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products to its new drug application for Waylivra but said it will continue to work with the agency to determine the best path forward for the prospective drug treatment. The company previously met with an FDA advisory committee in May, during which the panel agreed Waylivra demonstrated a favorable benefit/risk profile, according to Akcea CEO Paula Soteropoulos. Ionis was set to finish almost 16% lower.
In other sector news:
+ Wright Medical Group NV ( WMGI ) was almost 5% higher this afternoon after analysts at Needham & Co today raised their investment rating for the medical device company to Buy from Hold. The upgrade followed the company earlier Tuesday pricing a nearly $450 million public offering of 18.25 million shares of its common stock at $24.60 apiece, representing an 8.2% discount to Monday's closing price.
- Dynavax Technologies ( DVAX ) was little changed this afternoon, giving back a small gain earlier Tuesday in choppy trade despite the company presenting a pair of peer-reviewed papers for its SD-101 drug candidate showing clinical activity and broad immune activation in the tumor microenvironment when SD-101 is administered in combination with either low dose radiation in patients with indolent lymphoma or in combination with PD-1 blockade in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
- Quest Diagnostics ( DGX ) has turned narrowly higher again Tuesday afternoon, retracing a slim gain earlier the session that followed the diagnostic testing company, through its Summit Health subsidiary, announcing a $27 million "stalking horse" bid for Provant Health. Under the deal, Quest will acquire substantially all of Provant's assets and will continue Provant's service offerings. Provant petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.