Health Care Stocks Close with Small Declines

Health care stocks were drifting lower, with the NYSE Health Care Index dropping over 0.2% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Neovasc (NVCN) jumped 67% at one point Friday afternoon, topping out today at $1.32 a share after a federal appeals court affirmed a lower court decision siding with the medical device-maker in a patent suit with Edwards Lifesciences’ (EW) CardiAQ Valve Tech. subsidiary.

In ruling for Neovasc, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict from U.S. district court in Massachusetts, including its decision not enjoining Neovasc’s Tiara program.

“There are no other monetary damages arising from this award and Neovasc remains the joint inventor of the patent,” Neovasc said in a statement, later adding both companies were free to use the patent without having to pay royalties to the other firm.

In other sector news,

(+) APVO, Regains global development and commercialization rights for its MOR209/ES414 drug candidate for certain forms of prostate cancer after ending partnership with MorphoSys AG. Also sells three hyperimmune products – WinRho SDF, HepaGam B, and VARIZIG – to Saol Therapeutics for up to $74.5 mln.

(-) PGNX, Postpones filing new drug application for its Azedra blood pressure medication until its manufacturing site is inspection-ready. Also reports 25% of 68 patients experience a 50% or more drop in all antihypertensive drugs for at least six month, meeting primary endpoint for Phase IIb trial.

By Melissa Petros