Health Care Sector Update for 04/18/2019: MBRX,CGC,WEED.TO,MBIO,EIGR

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.73%

PFE -1.34%

ABT +1.45%

MRK -0.87%

AMGN -2.83%

Health care stocks were edging higher, reversing a steep slide earlier Thursday, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising about 0.1% in late trade. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 0.2% as a group although the Nasdaq Biotechnology index still was down almost 0.5%.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) Moleculin Biotech ( MBRX ) was 14% higher after Thursday saying the US Food and Drugs Administration has approved its request for a Fast Track designation for its Annamycin drug candidate for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. Annamycin currently is in separate phase I/II testing in the United States and Europe and the company on Wednesday announced positive interim top-line data showing it can "significantly improve survival in an aggressive form of triple negative breast cancer metastasized to the lungs in animal models."

In other sector news:

(+) Canopy Growth ( CGC ) rose 4% on Thursday after the medical and recreational marijuana company said it was buying Acreage Holdings for $3.4 billion in cash and stock once cannabis production and sale becomes federally legal in the United States. Acreage owns or manages cannabis-related licenses across 20 states, including 87 dispensaries and 22 cultivation and processing sites and its board includes former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former US House Speaker John Boehner.

(+) Mustang Bio ( MBIO ) more than doubled in price, at last look rising 112%, after the company said the New England Journal of Medicine published positive data from phase I/II testing of the biopharmaceuticals company lentiviral gene therapy in newly diagnosed infants under two years old with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disorder - the so-called "bubble boy disease."

(-) Eiger BioPharmaceuticals ( EIGR ) dropped 15% after pricing a $49.5 million public offering of 4.5 million shares at $11 each, marking a 15.6% discount to Wednesday's closing price.

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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