Healthcare Recap: Earnings, Drug Trials, and Liquidation

Earnings reports released by UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) last Thursday and WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) on Wednesday have provided a generally positive overview of the healthcare industry. While insurance companies are busy preparing for changes resulting from the U.S. Affordable Care Act, both UnitedHealth and WellPoint reported strong profits, partly due to the return of former healthcare usage patterns.

Against this backdrop, shares of Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Myrexis are trading up on Wednesday.

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1) Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VNDA): Current Price $4.25

Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for central nervous system disorders, was given a boost from the release of positive trial results for its Non-24-Hour Disorder treatment. The disease is a circadian rhythm disorder that affects totally blind individuals who lack light perception and cannot reset their master body clock to the 24-hour day. Vanda’s study of 20 patients found that those taking the drug Tasimelteon showed less “deterioration in measures of nighttime sleep, daytime naps, and timing of sleep” than those taking the placebo.

No current treatment for Non-24-Hour Disorder currently exists, and Vanda plans to submit a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug administration halfway through this year.