Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Edging Higher Near Friday Close

Last Updated: Friday, October 22, 2021 3:59 PM | MT Newswires

Health care stocks were edging higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 0.3% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) also was up 0.3%.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology index, however, was sinking 0.8%.

In company news, 23andMe (ME) was 5.4% higher this afternoon, reversing a 10% decline Friday morning that followed it announcing the purchase of telemedicine platform Lemonaid Health for $100 million in cash and $300 million in stock as part of plans by the genetic testing company to offer personalized primary health care services to consumers.

Ocular Therapeutix (OCUL) dropped nearly 36% after saying its OTX-CSI cyclosporine intracanalicular insert failed to meet the primary endpoint of increasing tear production in patients with dry eye disease during phase II testing. OTX-CSI did show improvement over baseline levels as soon as two weeks after insertion although those positive changes were not statistically significant compared with the control vehicle after 12 weeks, it said.

Metacrine (MTCR) tumbled more than 57% after the early-stage drugmaker said it was scrapping work on its MET642 drug candidate as a potential treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and will instead focus its resources on developing the farnesoid X receptor agonist to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

To the upside, Biofrontera (BFRA) rose 5.7% after the US Food and Drug Administration approved a combination of the company's Ameluz prescription medication and its BF-RhodoLED XL red-light photodynamic therapy for the treatment of mild and moderate scaly patches on the face and skin due to mild and moderate actinic keratoses on the face and scalp.

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