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Roche shares decline 1.6% on news that late-stage study missed primary endpoint
Roche Holding AG shares declined 1.6% in heavy midday trade Friday after the company said its drug for vision loss did not meet the primary endpoint in a late-stage clinical trial. Further dosing for patients in the trial will be paused until results from another late-stage study are evaluated, Roche said. The therapy, lampalizumab, is intended to treat a progressive form of age-related macular degeneration called geographic atrophy, which is associated with visual impairment, often in both eyes. The condition, which affects more than five million people globally, has no approved therapies. Shares of the biotech Ophthotech Corporation plummeted 10.3% to $2.78 in heavy Friday trade. Ophthotech's macular degeneration therapy pegpleranib, tested in combination with other therapies, did not show benefit compared to the other therapies alone, the company said in mid-August. The company plans to move forward "with multiple ongoing or planned clinical programs in orphan retinal diseases," it said in August. Roche shares have declined 1% over the last three months and Ophthotech shares have risen 9%, compared with a 1% rise in the S&P 500 . Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Insurance stocks clobbered as investors await loss estimates for hurricane Harvey
Insurance stocks were mostly lower Monday, as investors awaited the initial estimates of losses from hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas over the weekend. "While it is early days and Harvey is expected to bring even more rain and flooding for another week, our best guess at this point is Harvey could result in $10-$20bn of industry insured losses making it one of the top 10 most costly hurricanes to hit the U.S.," J.P. Morgan analyst Sarah DeWitt wrote in a Monday note. CreditSights analysts said the most vulnerable lines of business include allied lines, commercial and private auto, commercial multiple peril, homeowners and farmowners multiple peril, crop mulitple peril, private crop, fire, flood and inland marine. Among the companies that are most exposed to the region, Allstate Corp. shares fell 1.7%, Progressive Corp. shares were down 2.5%, Chubb Ltd. fell 1.6%, CNA Financial Corp. was down 0.5% and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. was down 2%. RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. fell 1.8% and Everest Re Group Ltd. fell 2.5%. Dow Jones Industrial Average component Travelers Cos. Inc. fell 3%, to shave about 20 points off the price-weighted index. The S&P 500 was flat. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
The Potential and Peril of Giving a Brand a Human Face
Characters like Flo, star of 140 Progressive Insurance commercials, can deliver a brand message in a potent way. But they’re not great at evolving.
Vertex Pharma shares rally on cystic fibrosis drug study results
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares surged in the extended session Tuesday after the biotech drug maker announced positive results from clinical trials of its cystic fibrosis treatments. Vertex shares rallied 26% to $166.50 after hours. The company said data from clinical studies of its treatment candidates VX-152 and VX-440 showed an up to 12% average improvement in lung function in cystic fibrosis patients given the drugs. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic defect that causes an abnormal buildup of mucus in the lungs leading to chronic infection and progressive lung damage.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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