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Health Care Sector Update for 11/18/2015: OGEN,XON,AVXL,SGEN

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.88%

PZE +1.40%

MRK +2.09%

ABT +0.80%

AMGN +1.83%

Health care stocks were pacing today's market advance, with the NYSE Health Care Index climbing more than 1.3% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up almost 1.7% as a group.

In company news, Oragenics ( OGEN ) was sharply lower this afternoon, reversing an early-morning gain that followed the drugmaker saying it met with U.S. regulators ahead of a planned filing of an Investigational New Drug application for the company's OG253 drug candidate.

OG253 is now being evaluated as a potential treatment for C. difficile infections. The experimental drug - which is being developed through a partnership with Interexon Corp. ( XON ) is classified as a lantibiotic, which are a new class of antibiotics showing considerable potential against several multi-drug resistant infections.

The company said it, along with several Interexon executives, recently met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration representatives, but offered few details of the guidance they received in preparation of the IND application.

OGEN shares were down over 13% at $1.12 apiece, staying just 2 cents above their session low. XON shares were hanging on to a 1% gain this afternoon at $35.60 each, earlier climbing as high as $236.09 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) AVXL, Said it was moving forward to develop a larger double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II/III trial for its ANAVEX 2-73 drug candidate to treat Alzheimer's disease following recent discussions with FDA.

(-) SGEN, Goldman Sachs begins analyst coverage with a Sell rating and a $33 price target for its stock.

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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