Markets

Health Care Sector Update for 12/02/2014: IDRA,VPHM,BIIB,QDEL

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.34%

PFE +0.69%

ABT +1.76%

MRK +0.47%

AMGN +1.54%

Health care stocks were extending their session gains late Tuesday with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index advancing about 0.4% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up 1.0% as a group.

In company news, Idera Pharmaceuticals ( IDRA ) rallied Tuesday after late yesterday naming Vincent Milano as its new chief executive officer, hiring him away from his current position at the helm of ViroPharma Inc. (VPHM).

He succeeds Sudhir Agrawal, who will remain at IDRA as the head of scientific research, also retaining his seat on the company's board of directors.

Milano leaves VPHM after 18 years, the final six as CEO. He previously had served as chief operating officer at the company beginning in January 2006 following a nearly 11 year stint as chief financial officer. He also has been chairman of the VPHM board since December 2008.

IDRA shares were up more than 16% in late trade at $3.62 apiece, just 2 cents under their session high. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $1.94 to $6.87 a share, rising more than 27% over the past 12 months ahead of today's advance.

VPHM shares were unchanged at $49.96 a share. The company in February filed to deregister as a public company, although its stock remains listed on the Nasdaq Global Select market while it works to complete a tender offer for its 2% convertible senior notes due 2017.

In other sector news,

(+) BIIB, Reports promising early-stage trial results for its prospective Alzheimer's treatment along with plans to move "very aggressively" with Phase III testing of the drug.

(-) QDEL, Launches $150 mln public offering of convertible senior notes due 2020. Net proceeds are expected to be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions and stock buybacks.

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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