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Health Care Sector Update for 02/09/2015: LJPC,ATOS,TMO,RGLS

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -1.20%

PZE -0.32%

MRK -2.00%

ABT -0.97%

AMGN -0.81%

Health care stocks declined Monday with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index falling about 0.7% and shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 down about 1.0% as a group.

In company news, La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. ( LJPC ) surged Monday after the biotech company and U.S. regulators agreed on a special protocol assessment for Phase III testing of its LJPC-501 drug candidate in patients with a drug-resistant form of low blood pressure.

According to the company, the prognosis for patients suffering from catecholamine-resistant hypotension is extremely poor, with fewer than half of those patients surviving one month after diagnosis.

Under the special protocol assesment the primary endpoint of the upcoming double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will be an increase in patient blood pressure. The company expects to begin multi-center testing before the end of next month. Final marketing approval of the drug is conditional on the trial results as well as a safety profile and an evaluation of the risk/benefit ratio.

LJPC shares were up almost 6% at $18.30 at $18.36 apiece this afternoon, earlier rising to a session high of $18.96 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $6.17 to $22.80 a share, already jumping nearly 130% over the past 12 months entering Monday trade.

In other sector news,

(+) ATOS, Signs U.S. distribution agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO ) for its FullCYTE Breast Aspirator device, used by doctors and nurses to collect nipple aspirate fluid for cytological analysis.

(-) RGLS, Said cure rates potentially achievable from a single injection of its RG-101 drug candidate were inferior to other available hepatitis C treatments, with nine of 14 patients measuring below the limits of quantitication after 57 days.

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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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