Healthcare stocks are solidly higher today with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising 1.5% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 adding 2.2% as a group.
In company news, Dynavax Technologies Corporation ( DVAX ) is up 1.8% shortly before the closing bell and the drug-maker saying it has started dosing in the first human clinical trial of its new asthma treatment.
The Phase I testing will assess the safety of AZD1419 with up to 45 healthy subjects receiving inhaled doses of the drug or a placebo during the first part of the trial, followed by up to 24 patients with mild asthma during the second part of testing.
Initial data from the study is expected in mid-2014.
In other sector news,
(+) GILD, Ends Phase III testing after interim analysis finds its idelalisib drug candidate worked extremely well in improving progression-free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
(+) ACUR, Settles patent fight over its Oxecta formulation with Impax Laboratories ( IPXL ) and Par Pharmaceutical, blocking generic versions of the abuse-resistant pain-killer being sold in the U.S. until 2021 and 2022, respectively.
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