Health Care Stocks Little Change in Recent Trade

Health care stocks were little changed on Thursday, with the NYSE Health Care Index declining less than 0.1% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Puma Biotechnology Inc (PBYI) slumped Thursday after a rival drugmaker reported positive trial results for its prospective breast-cancer treatment while Puma was saying it plans to restrict the intended patient population for its neratnib cancer drug candidate.

The company last night disclosed it will modify the summary of product characteristics in its marketing authorization application following a recent meeting with European regulators, limiting the intended population to patients initiating treatment within one year after completing an alternative chemotherapy regime. The proposed summary also will continue to include both hormone receptor positive and hormone receptor negative patients.

Meanwhile, Swiss drugmaker Roche overnight reported a combination of its Perjeta cancer drug with Herceptin and chemotherapy after surgery kept breast cancer patient alive longer than a combination of herceptin and chemotherapy alone. Roche plans to release complete results from the phase III study at an upcoming medical conference.

PBYI shares were down over 10% in mid-day trading at $34.10 apiece, recovering somewhat from a much deeper 23.9% decline to a session low of $28.95 a share earlier today.

In other sector news,

(+) AUPH, (+41.0%) Voclosporin drug candidate meets complete and partial remission endpoints after 48 weeks during Phase IIb testing. Company also says it still is on track to begin Phase III trial before June 30.

(-) ADPT, (-40.6%) Drops to record low after saying it will not be able to file its Form 10-K annual report on time after identifying material weakness in its internal controls for revenue recognition. Also needs more time to analyze goodwill impairment and evaluate deferred tax assets. Expects FY16 net loss.