Health Care Sector Update for 11/27/2018: DVA,VRTX,ACAD,GTHX

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +1.37%

PFE +1.77%

ABT +1.23%

MRK +0.94%

AMGN +1.44%

Health care stocks extended their prior gains this afternoon, including a 0.5% increase for the NYSE Health Care Index. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up nearly 1.0% as a group although the Nasdaq Biotechnology index dropped over 0.3% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) DaVita ( DVA ) was nearly 4% higher in late Tuesday trading after the kidney dialysis chain said lenders, led by JPMorgan Chase Bank, agreed to a revised senior secured credit facility increasing the company’s maximum leverage ratio from 4.50-to-1.00 to 5.00-to-1.00 through June 29, 2019. The amended loan facility also allows the company to sell additional shares of its common stock, according to a regulatory filing Monday night.

In other sector news:

(+) Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX ) rose over 5% on Tuesday after saying a combination of its VX-659 drug candidate with two previously approved chemotherapy medications, tezacaftor and ivacaftor, produced statistically significant improvements in lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis during a pair of Phase III studies compared with tezacaftor and ivacaftor alone. The VX-659 triple combination regimen also was well tolerated, Vertex said, adding the safety and efficacy profiles from Tuesday’s results supports the potential submission of a new drug application for VX-659.

(-) ACADIA Pharmaceuticals ( ACAD ) was down by double digits in late Tuesday trading, dropping almost 12% after earlier announcing plans for a $200 million public offering of its common stock. The biopharmaceutical company working to commercialize small molecule drugs to address certain central nervous system disorders also expects to provide underwriters for the deal with a 30-day option to buy up to $30 million of additional shares to cover potential overalotments.

(-) G1 Therapeutics ( GTHX ) dropped over 17% this afternoon after late Monday saying there was no statistically significant difference in the overall response rate and progression-free survival for patients with small cell lung cancer treated with a combination of its trilaciclib drug candidate and traditional chemotherapy and patients treated with chemotherapy alone during Phase II testing. The overall response rate for patients in the trilaciclib arm of the trial was 56.0% compared with a 63.5% rate for the placebo group while the preliminary median rate of progression-free survival was 5.7 months for trilaciclib and 5.4 months for the placebo group.

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