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Thursday's Health Winners & Losers

Shares of Encysive Pharmaceuticals (ENCY) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Thursday, jumping 15% after the company submitted a complete response to the Food and Drug Administration for its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug.

"Encysive and the FDA have come to a mutual agreement that the company's approach to responding to the items outlined in the approvable letter with our existing data set is reasonable, making possible the submission of a complete response," the company said.

In March, shares in Encysive were hammered after the company received an approvable letter from the FDA requesting more information about the drug Thelin. The company said it expects to hear within 30 days whether the FDA will accept its latest submission for review. Shares were trading up 57 cents to $4.39.

Shares of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (ANPI) rose 2% after the medical-device company narrowed its 2006 earnings forecast and announced an acquisition. The company now sees full-year adjusted earnings of 79 cents to 81 cents a share. Previously, the company forecast a profit of 76 cents to 81 cents a share. Angiotech predicts revenue of $325 million to $335 million. The updated guidance is better than the earnings of 78 cents a share and revenue of $312 million that analysts project.

For 2007, Angiotech anticipates adjusted earnings of 90 cents to 95 cents a share on revenue of $400 million to $425 million. Analysts project earnings of $1 a share on revenue of $400.7 million.

Separately, Angiotech said it signed a definitive agreement to buy privately held Quill Medical for $40 million. Quill makes aesthetic surgery and wound-closure products. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Angiotech shares recently changed hands at $13.97, up 24 cents.

Shares of United Natural Foods (UNFI) jumped 9% after the distributor of natural and organic foods posted third-quarter results that topped forecasts. For the quarter ended April 30, the company earned $12.3 million, or 29 cents a share, up from $10.7 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $637.1 million from $534.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 28 cents a share on sales of $622 million. "These results reflect the continued strong consumer demand for natural and organic products as well as the underlying strength of our sales channels across all regions in the country," the company said.

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