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Tuesday's Health Winners & Losers

Updated from 11:43 a.m. EDT

Positive earnings news out of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was leading the headlines on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and among health care stocks Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson said first-quarter earnings fell to $2.6 billion, or 88 cents a share, from $3.3 billion, or $1.10 a share, a year ago. However, adjusted results topped the Thomson First Call analysts' consensus of $1.05 a share, and J&J was higher by $1.53, or 2.4%, at $64.55.

Other pharmaceutical stocks lost ground. Wyeth (WYE) was off 0.8%, Merck (MRK) was down 0.6%, and Pfizer (PFE) dipped 0.2%.

J&J's gain helped boost the Amex Pharmaceutical Index, which was up slightly. The Amex Biotechnology Index also gained ground, despite losses of 0.7% or more in Cephalon (CEPH), Human Genome Sciences (HGSI), and MedImmune (MEDI).

Elsewhere, Novacea (NOVC) surged after the company said its AQ4N compound looked to be effective during animal studies. The treatment targets oxygen-starved regions of cancerous tumors that are hard to reach with other cancer therapies. The stock jumped $1.32, or 19.7%, to $8.02.

Shares of Telik (TELK) also soared after the company reported positive Phase II clinical data for its lung cancer drug candidate Telcyta. After rising more than 20% earlier in the day, Telik closed up 54 cents, or 9.2%, at $6.43.

On the flip side, biotech company Antigenics (AGEN) shed 10.6% a day after the company said its Oncophage cancer vaccine showed positive results in a clinical trial as a treatment for brain cancer. Antigenics, which surged 20.7% on Monday, lost 47 cents to $3.96.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) also sank a day after the company offered $250 million in senior subordinated convertible bonds, with an underwriter's option for $37.5 million more to cover overallotments. BioMarin fell $1.21, or 6.8%, to $16.62.

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