The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was sinking 1.0%.
In company news, Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX) slumped almost 22% after it said late Wednesday the US Food and Drug Administration plans to rescind the breakthrough therapy designation for its rusfertide drug candidate to treat polycythemia vera. The company said it continues to believe the prospective treatment for the rare blood disorder deserves its breakthrough designation and was seeking to soon meet with agency officials to press its case.
Magenta Therapeutics (MGTA) dropped 3.4% after it announced plans to cut its workforce by 14% and trim other spending while it works to develop its MGTA-117 drug candidate as a potential treatment for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplasia. The cost reductions are expected to provide Magenta with sufficient resources to continue operations through the first half of 2024, it said.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) was hanging on for a 0.3% gain, easing from a 3% advance to a best-ever $553.20 a share, after the health care benefits company raised its FY22 earnings forecast and reported non-GAAP net income and revenue for the first three months of the year exceeding Wall Street expectations. Excluding one-time items, it earned $5.49 per share on $80.15 billion in revenue compared with the Capital IQ consensus expecting $5.35 per share and $78.77 billion, respectively.
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