Markets

Sector Update: Health Care

Health care stocks were mostly lower in afternoon trading, with the NYSE Health care Sector Index declining around 0.6% and shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 dropping about 0.8% as a group.

In company news, Progenics Pharmaceuticals ( PGNX ) was lower Monday afternoon after the drug-maker presented long-term follow-up data from Phase II testing of its Azedra drug candidate in patients with malignant pheochromocytoma, saying the the results "suggest that treatment with Azedra has significant patient benefit both in symptom control as well as cancer control."

Through June, a total of 41 patients have received either a single dose or two doses of the company's radio-therapeutic candidate targeting ultra-orphan diseases pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. After six months, 31.7% of the patients achieved the study's primary endpoints of a reduction of at least 50% of anti-hypertensive medications, the company said.

It also said the median length of survival in patients receiving two doses of Azedra was 43.3 months. PGNX expects to resume the study early next year with at least 58 patients.

PGNX shares were down more than 3% at $4.92 each, holding just 4 cents above its session low after earlier climbing to a 3.5% advance at $5.26 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $3.10 to $7.45 a share, rising less than 1% over the past 12 months through Friday's close.

In other sector news,

(+) LCI, (+4.0%) Reaffirms FY15 forecast for around $350 mln to $370 mln in revenue during the 12 months ending next June, in-line with analyst consensus looking for $354.44 mln in sales. Also begins shipping its oxycodone hydrochloride oral solution.

(-) THLD, (-11.0%) Independent Data Monitoring Committee completes interim analyses of efficacy and safety data from Phase III testing of its TH-302 drug candidate combined another chemotherapy drug in patients with soft tissue sarcoma, concluding the trial should continue as planned.

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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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