Healthcare review: Echo Therapeutics, CombiMatrix Corporation, Alphatec Holdings, Life Technologies, Merck & Co Print E-mail
By Ohad Hammer   
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 13:57

U.S. stocks sagged on Tuesday as investors paused after a seven-session string of gains, sending large-cap technology shares lower. Investors' confidence has grown in recent months, leading to a gain of more than 10 percent for the year by the Dow and nearly 9 percent by the S&P 500. Signs of improvement in the economy and the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing have helped to drive the advance. Heading into Tuesday, both the Dow and benchmark S&P 500 index had rallied for seven consecutive sessions, with the Dow closing at another record high on Monday. The S&P is within reach of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15, set on Oct. 9, 2007.

Following are notable movers at mid day on Tuesday:-

Echo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTE) shares increased 4.84% to $0.797 after the company today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,386,027, "Skin Permeation Device For Analyte Sensing or Transdermal Drug Delivery," for the Prelude SkinPrep System, the skin permeation component of the Symphony CGM System.

CombiMatrix Corporation (NASDAQ:CBMX) shares fell 15.69% to $3.17. The Company on Feb. 28, reported total revenues for the fourth quarter and full-year 2012 increased to $1.5 million and $5.4 million respectively, up 18% and 15% versus the fourth quarter and full-year 2011. Net loss from continuing operations during the fourth quarter of 2012 was $(3.8 million), or $(3.31) per share from continuing operations as compared to $(2.0 million), or $(1.87) per sharein the fourth quarter of 2011.

Alphatec Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ATEC) shares raised 12% to $2.24 after the company today reported that it has  received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market and sell its Alphatec Solus internal fixation anterior lumbar interbody fusion device. The device's 510(K) application was filed with the FDA during the fourth quarter of 2012. The Alphatec Solus ALIF device features two counter-rotating titanium blades, which deploy into adjacent vertebrae on a zero-degree axis, locking the device in place.

Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) shares increased 1.80% to $62.22 as a buyout of the company could be getting closer.According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, KKR is considering teaming with other private-equity firms to put together a joint bid for the company. In addition, strategic buyers Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) are also weighing bids.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) shares gained 3% to $44.96. The company today reported that an independent data-safety-monitoring board overseeing a trial of cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin has completed a planned review and has recommended that the study continue.

Further, the company will begin trading ex-dividend on March 13, 2013. A cash dividend payment of $0.43 per share is scheduled to be paid on April 05, 2013. Shareholders who purchased MRK stock prior to the ex-dividend date are eligible for the cash dividend payment.

Additionally, on March 8, it declared the appointment of the Amgen retired research chief at its own research division.




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