Markets

Health Care Sector Update for 03/23/2015: VRTX,CAPN,MEIP

Highs and Lows Stock Data

Health care stocks were mixed with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index ahead over 0.5% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down 0.2% as a group.

In company news, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX ) declined Monday after the drugmaker reported disappointing Phase IIb trial data for its prospective treatment for adults with cystic fibrosis and two copies of the F508del mutation.

The study evaluated two dosing levels of its VX-661 drug candidate combined with VRTX's ivacaftor cystic fibrosis medication. It found the combination was generally well tolerated, with all of the participating patients completing the 12-week trial.

Overall, however, the study found a statistically insignificant 3% improvement in lung function among patients receiving 100 milligrams once daily for 12 months compared with 1% improvement among patients receiving placebos. Efficacy also declined over the course of the study, with a higher rate of improvement among the VX-661 patients after four weeks than after 12 weeks.

But the results were not enough to derail VX-661, with the company saying it was continuing its Phase III testing of the drug ahead of an expected new drug application with U.S. regulators.

VRTX shares were down almost 4% at $126.08 apiece, earlier sliding to a session low of $122.00 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $59.79 to $136.33 a share, climbing more than 82% over the past 12 months prior today's retreat.

In other sector news,

(+) CAPN, Initiated with Buy rating and a $9 price target in new coverage today at the Maxim Group.

(-) MEIP, Pracinostat drug candidate fails to meet primary goal of statistically significant improved survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome compared with blood-cancer patients treated with azacitidine alone during Phase II trial.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

VRTX

Other Topics

Commodities

Latest Markets Videos