Markets

Sector Update: Healthcare

Healthcare stocks were narrowly mixed this afternoon, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.1% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 were ahead about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, shares of Northwest Biotherapeutics ( NWBO ) advanced Wednesday after saying cancer patients whose inoperable tumors were injected with its DCVax personalized immune therapies all saw improved conditions, including one third of the patients showing no live tumor cells in the injected tumor.

The ongoing Phase I/II trial is intended to measure the efficacy and safety of the DCVax injections, which use activated dendritic cells to mobilize patient's immune system to attack cancer. According to the company, all nine of the patients who have received the first four of six planned injections saw progression of their disease slow, including tumor shrinkage or cell death, with biopsies from three of the nine treated patients showing no live tumor cells in the injected tumor.

"These early glimpses are indicating an increasingly encouraging picture," according to NWBO Chief Executive Linda Powers. "For patients with such advanced, metastatic, inoperable cancers, who have failed other existing treatments, these are exciting findings."

NWBO shares were up 15.4% at $6.65 apiece in recent trade, earlier climbing to a session high of $6.73 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $3.10 to $10.64 a share, jumping slightly more than 81% in value over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) NAVB, (+6.2%) Announces positive results from Phase III testing of its Lymphoseek injection to measure its efficacy identifying pathology-positive lymph nodes for multiple solid tumor types, including melanoma and breast cancer.

(-) OREX, (-17.1%) FDA extends new drug application review for the company's experimental weight-loss drug candidate by another three months to Sept 11 to work out a deal on post-marketing obligations related to NB32's effect on the heart.

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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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