Healthcare Sector Lone Decliner in S&P 500; Echo Therapeutics Rallies on Upcoming Study Results

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Healthcare stocks were drifting lower this afternoon with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 down about 0.2% as a group.

In company news, Echo Therapeutics Inc. ( ECTE ) shares rose briskly Friday after the medical device company said it will disclose positive results from the latest testing of its continuous glucose monitoring system at an industry conference beginning late next week in San Francisco.

The poster presentation will detail the performance of the company's Symphony CCM monitor in critically ill diabetic and non-diabetic patients convalescing in hospital intensive care units following surgery. According to lead investigator Dr. Jeffery Joseph, the director of research in the anesthesiology department at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, the monitor demonstrated clinically relevant accuracy and excellent safety in ICU patients."

Jeffery is scheduled to discuss the study results on Sunday, June 15 at the 74th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

Separately yesterday, ECTE said the Glass Lewis proxy advisory firm issued its recommendation in favor of the management slate of director candidates at the company's June 19 annual meeting, rejecting a bid by Platinum Management to elect an dissident nominee to ECTE board over interim CEO Robert Dman..

ECTE shares were up 11% shortly before the closing bell at $2.12 a share, earlier climbing to an intra-day high of $2.25 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $1.53 to $5.99 a share, declining over 62% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) GWPH, FDA grants fast-track status to the company's Epidiolex drug candidate to treat a severe form of childhood epilepsy. The agency previously designated the cannabidiol product as an orphan drug to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

(-) NVAX, Prices offering of 25 mln shares of its common stock at $4 apiece, a 12% discount to Thursday's closing price for the stock.

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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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