Health care stocks were posting large gains, including a 1.3% advance for the NYSE Health Care Index while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 1.4% as a group. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was climbing over 1.5% this afternoon.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
(+) CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) rose more than 15% after saying it was expanding its collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), pocketing $175 million after providing the drugmaker with exclusive global rights to its existing and future intellectual property, including its CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. Overall, CRISPR is eligible for up to $825 million in additional payments based on the companies reaching certain regulatory and commercial milestones for prospective therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1.
In other sector news:
(+) La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC) climbed 20% on Friday after reporting positive interim results from phase II testing of its LJPC-401 drug candidate, saying the synthetic human hepcidin protein met the primary endpoint of the study by producing a statistically significant reduction of serum iron in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic condition characterized by iron overload in the body.
(-) Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) was fractionally higher, reversing its morning decline. Guggenheim Friday cut its stock rating for the early-stage oncology company to neutral from buy. Through Thursday's close, Mirati shares have climbed around 55% since May 15, the day before Amgen (AMGN) said its AMG-510 drug candidate - which like Mirati's MRT849 prospective therapy targets the same oncogene KRAS G12c mutations - showed anti-tumor activity in patients with either colorectal or non-small cell lung cancer.
Price: 43.05, Change: +5.80, Percent Change: +15.57
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