Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks were posting strong gains this afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index adding over 1.0% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up about 1.0% as a group.
In company news, BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. ( BVXV ) rallied to record high on Wednesday after the specialty drugmaker today said the National Institute of Health is planning to test the company's universal influenza vaccine as part of its efforts to prevent the widescale spread of the so-called bird flu.
The upcoming Phase II trial, set to begin during the upcoming flu season, will assess the ability of BiondVax's Multimeric-001 vaccine candidate in humans as a pandemic primer to the H7N9 avian pandemic vaccine by enhancing their immunity to several H7 influenza strains.
It will also look to supplement prior clinical and pre-clinical data on the priming capacity of M-001 against other seasonal and pandemic influenza strains.
BVXV shares were up almost 24% at $4.32 each, earlier rising to $5.78 a share to reach their highest price since the company's May 15 initial public offering of stock. Over that four-month span, the stock had dropped more than 30% through yesterday's close.
In other sector news,
(+) SURG, (+49.4%) Agrees to $166 million buyout offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX,VRX.TO), which will pay $6.50 in cash for each SURG share, a 48% premium over Tuesday's closing price.
(-) HTWR, (-18.9%) Announces $360 million stock swap for privately held Valtech Cardio, exchanging 4.4 million shares of its stock for the cardiovascular device company at closing. HTWR also will issue 800,000 shares to Valtech after its Cardioband receives CE mark nod and 700,000 shares after first human CardioValve implant.
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