Markets

Health Care Sector Update for 02/14/2017: INCY,AGEN,CYNO,HOLX,AVIR

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.08%

PFE +0.15%

MRK +0.51%

ABT +1.10%

AMGN -0.37%

Health care stocks were adding to narrow gains from earlier in Tuesday trading, with the NYSE Health Care Index this afternoon adding about 0.4% in value while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up almost 0.6% as a group.

In company news, Incyte ( INCY ) shares climbed to a 16-month high on Tuesday after the specialty drugmaker today said it revised its licensing, development and commercialization agreement with Agenus ( AGEN ), agreeing to pay the rival immuno-oncology company $20 million in accelerated clinical milestone payments in addition to making a $60 million equity investment in Agenus.

The stock purchase pact calls on Incyte to buy about 10 million Agenus shares - gaining a roughly 10% stake - at $6 apiece, a 45.6% premium over Monday's closing price for Agenus shares.

The amended agreement also contains up to $510 million in additional milestone payments as the companies reach certain development, regulatory and commercial goals. It also converts the ongoing GITR and OX40 antibody programs into royalty-bearing programs, with Incyte now responsible for funding all global development and commercialization costs. Agenus also would be eligible to receive 15 percent royalties on global net sales should either product reach market.

INCY shares were climbing nearly 3% to $124.36 apiece after previously reaching their best price since October 2015 at $125.49 a share. AGEN shares also were higher, rising nearly 6% to 4.36 each, drifting back to within four cents of their session low after trading as high as $4.78 a share earlier today.

In other sector news,

(+) CYNO, (+28.0%) Agrees to $1.65 bln buyout offer from Hologic ( HOLX ), which will pay $66 for each CYNO share, a 28.1% premium over Monday's closing price.

(-) AVIR, (-37.2%) Vapendavir drug candidate at either 264-mg or 528-mg doses fails to demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in asthma symptoms compared to placebo during phase IIb clinical trial.

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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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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