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Sector Update: Health Cares Stocks Posting Strong Gains; Rigel Pharma Sinks After Scrapping Eye Drug Trial

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Healthcare stocks were broadly higher Wednesday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index climbing about 0.8% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 advancing about 1.0% as a group.

In company news, shares of Rigel Pharmaceuticals ( RIGL ) slid Wednesday after the drug-maker said it would stop testing its drug for selected patients with dry eye disease after the treatment failed a mid-stage study.

The failed study of its R348 drug candidate was the latest in string of setbacks for the company, with RIGL last year also stopping work on prospective treatments for skin disorders and asthma after similarly coming up short during Phase II testing.

The company is continuing with another Phase II trial of R348 in dry eye patients with graft versus host disease.

RIGL shares recently were down about 11.7% at $2.73 apiece, earlier dropping to a session low of $2.51 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $2.31 to $5.00 a share, falling over 32% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) OTIC, (+9.4%) Prices $100 mln initial public offering of 6.25 mln shares of its common stock at $16 each.

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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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