Healthcare Review: Aetna Inc , Galena Biopharma, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Nektar Therapeutics, Sequenom Are Notable Movers Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 07 December 2012 15:18
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slipped on Friday after consumer sentiment unexpectedly dipped, dampening early enthusiasm from a better-than-expected employment report.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index plunged to 74.5 in early December, the lowest level since August. Wall Street opened higher after U.S. Labor Department data showed non-farm employment increased more than expected, with 146,000 jobs added in November.  

Following are the notable movers at mid day on Friday:

Aetna Inc.(NYSE:AET)
stock gained 2.03% to $44.31. The company has agreed to pay as much as $120 million to settle class-action lawsuits involving the health insurer's practices for paying claims when members see out-of-network doctors. The company said the proposed nationwide settlement, which involves cases first launched more than five years ago, is subject to final approval in federal court in New Jersey that could come in mid-2013 or later.

Galena Biopharma Inc(NASDAQ:GALE)
stock dropped 6.88% to $2.03. GALE and Leica Biosystems announced a partnership to develop a companion diagnostic for Galena's NeuVax (nelipepimut-S or E75) breast cancer therapeutic. Additionally, the company presented data from the completed SN-33 Trial and final results from the Phase 1/2 trials of NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S or E75) at the 35th Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The event is being held December 4-8, 2012 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:BCRX)
shares dropped 4.08% to $1.41 in the early hour. The company will lay off 50% of its workforce as part of a restructuring program aimed at cutting costs while advancing its antiviral program and its program for hereditary angioedema, an immune system disorder. The company said it will direct its cash and other resources primarily to enable the achievement of near-term milestones for its BCX4161 HAE, BCX4430 broad spectrum antiviral and BCX5191 hepatitis C programs.

Nektar Therapeutics(NASDAQ:NKTR)
shares gained 4.34% to $7.09 in the morning hour. Jefferies & Company downgraded its rating on Nektar from Buy to Hold, and lowered its price target from $10.00 to $8.00. The company is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of drug candidates, which utilize its PEGylation and advanced polymer conjugate technology platforms.

Sequenom, Inc.(NASDAQ:SQNM)
stock gained 3.28% to $4.73. The company announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will issue U.S. Patent No. 8,340,916 on December 25, 2012 with claims to novel methods for detecting fetal aneuploidy using massively parallel sequencing. The patent is entitled Diagnosing Fetal Chromosomal Aneuploidy Using Massively Parallel Genomic Sequencing and was invented by Drs. Dennis Lo, Rossa Chiu and Alan Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Sequenom has exclusive rights to this patent.



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