Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc VRTX:NASDAQ

Last Price$173.59NASDAQ Previous Close - Last Trade as of 4:00PM ET 10/14/19

Today's Change+1.18(0.68%)
Bid (Size)$171.33 (1)
Ask (Size)$177.87 (1)
Day Low / High$172.32 - 175.25
Volume579.6 K

Sector Update: Biotechs Lift Health Care Stocks to Large Gain

3:55PM ET 6/07/2019 MT Newswires
Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +1.70%

PFE +0.80%

ABT +1.07%

MRK +1.38%

AMGN +0.67%

Health care stocks were ending near their session highs, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising almost 1.3% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 1.1% as a group. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was climbing over 1.7% this afternoon.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) X4 Pharmaceuticals (XFOR) rose 7.5% after Stifel Nicolaus Friday began analyst coverage of the specialty drugmaker with a buy investment recommendation and a $27 price target.

In other sector news:

(+) La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC) climbed 24% 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.

(+) 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.

(-) Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) was 2.5% 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: 15.00, Change: +1.05, Percent Change: +7.53