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Health Care Sector Update for 04/14/2016: AMGN, MRK, ABT, PFE, JNJ, ABBV, ENTA, SNTA

Top Health-care stocks:

JNJ: flat

PFE: -0.1%

ABT: flat

MRK: flat

AMGN: -0.04%

Health care shares were mostly unchanged in pre-market trade Thursday.

In health care stocks news, Synta Pharmaceuticals ( SNTA ) said it has agreed to acquire Madrigal Pharmaceutical for 253.9 million newly issued shares, giving Madrigal shareholders ownership of 64% of the combined company. The company said the deal will create a firm focused on the development of novel small-molecule drugs addressing major unmet needs in cardiovascular-metabolic diseases and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Madrigal's lead compound, MGL-3196, is a phase 2-ready once-daily, oral, liver-directed selective thyroid hormone receptor-beta agonist for the treatment of NASH and heterozygous and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Upon closing, the combined company will be named Madrigal Pharmaceutical and Paul Friedman will become chairman and CEO. The deal is expected to close in Q3.

SNTA shares rose 28.9% at $0.32, with a 52-week range of $0.15 - $3.17.

AbbVie ( ABBV ) and Enanta ( ENTA ) said new data from a post-hoc analysis of five Phase 3 clinical trials showed Hepatitis C patients achieved high sustained virologic response rates at 48 weeks post-treatment with a regimen of VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA, with or without ribavirin. The companies said the study found that 100% percent of patients with genotype 1b chronic HCV who received the drugs without ribavirin for 12 weeks achieved the response. A total of 97% of patients achieved SVR48 when receiving the recommended regimen with ribavirin.

ABBV shares closed at $59.06, with a 52-week range of $45.45 - $71.60; ENTA shares closed at $31.60, with a 52-week range of $16.75 - $51.89..

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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