Health Care Sector Update for 11/28/2018: AQB,IPCI,CPRX,GWPH

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +1.94%

PFE +1.59%

ABT +4.04%

MRK +0.96%

AMGN +2.15%

Health care stocks were finishing near their session highs this afternoon, including a nearly 1.9% gain for the NYSE Health Care index. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were climbing over 2.2% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was more than 2.4% higher in late trade.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) AquaBounty Technologies ( AQB ) was back near its session high, rising almost 6%, after Wednesday naming Sylvia Wulf to be its new CEO and executive director, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The US Foods ( USFD ) senior vice president joins the company just ahead of it moving forward to commerialize its AquAdvantage Salmon genetically modified fish, saying it has now cleared “the majority of the required regulatory hurdles.” Current chief executive Ronald Stotish will remain with AquaBounty next year as a board member with responsibility for research and regulatory affairs, in particular, working with food and biotech regulatory authorities in the United States and Canada and other countries.

In other sector news:

(+) Catalyst Pharmaceuticals ( CPRX ) climbed over 10% on Wednesday after it said there has been no decision yet by the US Food and Drug Administration on its Firdapse drug candidate, explaining that a contractor working on a web page unintentionally allowed a live screen to be seen indicating the agency had approved Catalyst’s new drug application for the experimental medication for the rare muscle disease. The FDA is scheduled to issue its decision later Wednesday after granting orphan drug designation to Firdapse in September 2016. The drug also is the first and only drug approved by European regulators for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome in adults.

(-) GW Pharmaceuticals ( GWPH ) was down about 1% shortly before Wednesday’s closing bell, paring a 4% decline earlier today that followed the drugmaker missing analyst estimates with its fiscal Q4 revenue. The company generated $2.4 million in sales for its cannabinoid medications during the three months ended Sept. 30, falling 4% from $2.5 million during the same quarter last year and trailing the Capital IQ consensus by about $900,000. The Q4 net loss was $0.23 per share, expanding on an $0.18 per share loss last year.

(-) Intellipharmaceutics International ( IPCI ) was down over 7% in late trade, giving back a 17% advance earlier Wednesday that followed the company saying U.S. regulators approving its abbreviated new drug application for an extended-release version of venlafaxine hydrochloride capsules in the 37.5-, 75-, and 150-milligram strengths. The approved product is a generic equivalent of Wyeth’s Effexor XR branded medication to treat various forms of depression.

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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