Health Care Sector Update for 11/15/2018: ARNA, UTHR, QURE, ABIO



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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ, -0.1%

PFE, +0.4%

ABT, +1.7%

MRK, +0.8%

AMGN, +1.5%

Health care stocks turned positive ahead of Thursday’s closing bell, recovering from earlier losses as NYSE Health Care Index gaining 0.4%. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up 0.8% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was ahead over 2% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA ) rose almost 20% higher in Thursday’sa afternoon trade after the biopharmaceuticals company said it has signed a global license agreement with United Therapeutics Corp ( UTHR ) for its Ralinepag prospective treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Under the terms of the agreement, Arena will receive an $800 million upfront payment from United in exchange for exclusive, world-wide rights to develop, produce and commericalize Ralinepag. Arena also is eligible for up to $400 million in additional payments as drug development reaches certain regulatory milestone and would receive tiered royalty payments in the low double-percentage digits based on annual net sales. United Therapeutics also was higher today, rising over 4% in recent trading.

In other sector news:

(+) uniQure N.V ( QURE ) was soared more than 37% Thursday after the gene therapy company reported topline trial data showing its AMT-061 drug candidate produced therapeutic levels of Factor IX activity in all three enrolled patients with severe and moderately severe hemophilia B six weeks after dosing. The company is expecting to submit data from the Phase IIb trial to U.S. and European regulators by the end of the year and beginning Phase III testing during the first three months of 2019.

(-) ARCA biopharma ( ABIO ) was down nearly 213% on Thursday after the medical device company said U.S. regulators were again reviewing a special protocol assessment for a proposed Phase III trial of ACRA’s Gencaro beta-blocker and vasodilator medication that’s being developed as a potential genetically-targeted treatment for patients with heart failure who are risk for atrial fibrillation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a No Agreement letter to the company in October although the two sides are expected to discuss any remaining issues with the SPA application in December. The company late Wednesday reported its Q3 financial results, including a net loss of $0.11 per share for the three months ended Sept. 30, narrowing its $0.39 per share loss last year and besting the Street view expecting a $0.19 per share net loss.


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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