Health care stocks added to their midday gains this afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 0.6% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) was up less than 0.5%.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology index, however, was climbing 2% in late trade.
In company news, Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) added nearly 12% after saying its SAGE-718 drug candidate showed "promising" results during phase II testing in patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. Patients saw improvement from baseline levels on several measurements of executive functions and in their learning and memory skills, the company said, adding there were no reports of serious adverse events or deaths linked to the trial.
US Physical Therapy (USPH) rose 4.3% after the outpatient treatment chain announced its $11.5 million purchase of a 70% stake in of Madden and Gilbert Physical Therapy, which operates six clinics in south central Pennsylvania and generates more than $7.5 million in yearly revenue.
Among decliners, ARCA Biopharma (ABIO) was down 4.1%, paring a portion of its more than 23% morning decline, after saying its phase 2b trial evaluating the lower and higher doses of rNAPc2 for the potential treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients failed to achieve its primary endpoint.
Sellas Life Sciences Group (SLS) tumbled as much as 40% on Friday to touch a 16-month low after the biopharmaceuticals company priced a $25 million public offering of nearly 4.63 million common shares at $5.40 apiece, or more than 34% under its last closing price. Investors also received an equal number of five-year warrants exercisable at $5.40 a share.
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