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Friday's Health Winners & Losers

Labopharm's (DDSS) mutually exclusive frustration with the Food and Drug Administration was balanced by positive study results from other health companies Friday, flattening stock indices at the end of the holiday-shortened week.

Labopharm was down $3.19, or 50.1%, to $3.11 after the drugmaker announced the FDA issued a second approvable letter saying the company hasn't demonstrated the efficacy of its once-daily formulation of pain-reliever Tramadol. Research firm Leerink Swann downgraded Labopharm from outperform to market perform Friday morning.

Labopharm competitor Biovail (BVF), which makes painkiller Ultram ER, offered news as well. It restated its 2004, 2005 and 2006 financial results in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission due to an error it found while preparing first-quarter results for 2007. Among a few other changes in the restatement, the company said it earned $1.32 a share rather than $1.27 in 2006, $1.54 a share instead of $1.48 in 2005 and $1 a share instead of $1.01 a share in 2004. Biovail shares were up $1.20, or 5%, to $25.46.

Other companies increased modestly after announcements of study results. Among them was Ista Pharmaceuticals (ISTA), which said the preliminary analysis of its phase IIb clinical trial of ecabet sodium, for dry eye, are positive. The trial is looking to confirm observations from prior clinical trials on the treatment and was not focusing on statistical significance. However, the company said ecabet sodium did achieve statistical significance in the Ocular Symptom Disease Index assessment.
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