Health Care Sector Update for 06/27/2018: GBT,HRTX,CO,PTIE

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.42%

PFE -0.25%

ABT -0.25%

MRK -1.17%

AMGN -0.29%

Health care stocks were caught up in Wednesday's late selloff, with the NYSE Health Care index falling more than 0.6% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 index dropping over 0.7%.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

+ Global Blood Therapeutics ( GBT ) raced as much as 27% higher on Wednesday after reporting positive trial results it voxelotor drug candidate demonstrated statistically significant efficacy compared with a placebo in patients with sickle cell disease during Phase III testing and prompting at least two brokerage to raise their price targets for Global Blood shares. The study found voxelotor produced sizable increases in hemoglobin levels in sickle cell patients at both 900- and 1,500-milligram doses after 12 weeks of treatment, meeting the primary endpoint of the trial. The company also said voxelotor's strong performance also meets the standard for accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, adding it expects to provide an update on its talks with regulator by no later than year's end. Following the company's morning announcment, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald increased their price target for Global Blood shares by $27 to $96 each while H.C. Wainwright added $52 - or about 71.2% over its prior target of $73 - to $125 a share. Empire Asset Management reportedly also set a $58 price target for the stock, citing the positive, late-stage trial results.

In other sector news:

+ Heron Therapeutics ( HRTX ) was building on its earlier gains, Wednesday afternoon climbing nearly 4%, after the commercial-stage biotech company late Tuesday priced a $200 million public offering of its common stock without disclosing how many shares it sold or their price. Heron also provided underwriters with a 30-day option to buy up to $30 million more of the shares to cover potential over-allotments. The company plans to use net proceeds from the offering for the commercial launch of its HTX-011 pain medication, if approved by U.S. regulators, as well as continued support of the company's Sustol and Cinvanti anti-nausea drugs.

- Global Cord Blood Corp ( CO ), formerly China Cord Blood, fell as much as 8% on Wednesday after its Q4 profit declined compared with year-ago levels, missing Wall Street estimates, and also reporting smaller-than-expected revenue growth. The company providing umbilical cord blood storage and ancillary services earned RMB0.25, or $0.04, per share during the three months ended March 31, down from RMB0.45 during the same quarter last year earlier and trailing the lone analyst call expecting $0.13 per share. Revenue rose 15% year over year to RMB233 million, or $37.1 million, also lagging the $39.36 million single-analyst call.

- Pain Therapeutics ( PTIE ) plunged to a record low on Wednesday, dropping over 75% to a worst-ever $2.12 a share after an FDA advisory panel late Tuesday recommended against approving the company's Remoxy ER extended-release medication for the management of chronic pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are not available. The vote by the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products and the Drug Safety and Risk Management advisory committees voted 14-to-3 to reject the abuse-deterrent oral oxycodone formulation. A final decision is due by August 7 on the company's lead product candidate by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels but usually does.

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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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