Health Care Sector Update for 11/23/2018: ESRX,CI,NVO,IPCI

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.39%

PFE +0.55%

ABT -0.38%

MRK +0.07%

AMGN +0.42%

Health care stocks were gaining in defensive trading today, including a more than 0.4% advance for the NYSE Health Care Index in late trade. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up over 0.4% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was ahead 0.8% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) Express Scripts ( ESRX ) rose as much as 2% on Friday after the pharmacy benefits manager late Wednesday said in a regulatory filing it was postponing the closing date for its proposed merger with health care services company Cigna ( CI ) by another six months until June 8, 2019. The companies Wednesday exchanged mutual notices extending the original Dec. 8 termination date with no other changes to the merger agreement, they said.

In other sector news:

(+) Novo Nordisk A/S ( NVO ) climbed about 2% on Friday after saying its semaglutide drug candidate produced statistically significant reductions in HbA levels compared with either Victoza or a placebo during Phase IIIa testing in Japanese adults with diabetes. The 52-week trial tested the safety and efficacy of a oral formulation of semaglutide, which is an investigational GLP-1 taken once daily as a tablet.

(-) Intellipharmaceutics International ( IPCI ) was fractionally lower on Wednesday after saying it has signed an exclusive licensing and distribution deal for its abuse resistant, extended release oxycodone product candidate with a pharmaceutical distributor in the Philippines. The company also signed a similar deal for four additional generic extended release drug products: Seroquel XR, Focalin XR, Glucophage XR, and Keppra XR.

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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