Health Care Stocks Lower

Health care stocks were mostly lower Tuesday, with the NYSE Health Care Index falling almost 0.4% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down more than 0.5% as a group. In company news, Mirna Therapeutics (MIRN) slumped Tuesday, with shares of the medical device manufacturer at one point today falling more than 31% to a session low of $1.40 a share after today announcing plans to merge with privately held Synlogic.

The combined companies will operate under the Synlogic name and focus on advancing Synlogic’s drug discovery and development platform for synthetic biotic medicines, which are designed to genetically reprogram beneficial microbes to treat metabolic and inflammatory diseases along with certain types of cancer. The companies expect to begin by mid-year a phase I trial of Synlogic’s SYNB1020 product candidate in healthy patients as a potential treatment for urea cycle disorders and hepatic encephalopathy.

Financial details of the merger were not immediately disclosed but the companies said that once the transaction was completed, Synlogic shareholders would own about 83% of the combined companies although the exact split will depend on Mirna’s cash reserves when the deal closes.

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