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Health Care Sector Update for 12/15/2015: CFRX,ICPT,NEOT

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +1.95%

PZE +0.25%

MRK +1.79%

ABT +1.37%

AMGN +2.89%

Health care stocks were higher Tuesday afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index jumping nearly 1.2% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 1.2% as a group.

In company news, ContraFect ( CFRX ) rallied Tuesday after the biotech firm said it recently completed Phase I testing of its CF-801 drug candidate to treat Staphylococcus infections and observing no adverse clinical safety signals throughout the seven-month study.

CF-301 is the first lysin the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed to enter human clinical trials, with ContraFect starting to dose healthy volunteers in the double-blind, placebo controlled and ranging-dose trial on May 21. It expects to release test data near the middle of 2016.

CFRX shares finished nearly 27% higher at $3.89 apiece, slipping just slightly from a session high of $4.07 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) ICPT, Citing unnamed market source, ( UK ) Daily Mail reports drugmaker hired JPMorgan to assess offers after Shire ( SHPG ), GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ) and other companies from U.S. and Switzerland approach with buyout bids.

(-) NEOT, Piper Jaffray downgrade to Neutral, Needham & Co. cuts rating to Hold after LIPO-202 experimental treatment for central abdominal bulging misses co-primary composite, secondary endpoints during Phase III testing.

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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