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Tuesday's Health Winners & Losers

Investor enthusiasm and reaction to the Fed's interest rate decision carried over to health stocks Tuesday, refreshing numerous names -- some with and some without news.

One of the bigger gainers, Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO), presented animal-study data that showed human CD4 T-cells can be made permanently resistant to HIV infection by treatment with zinc finger DNA-binding protein nucleases and preferentially survive and expand in mice after HIV infection. Shares added $1.40, or 11.7%, to $13.40.

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) gained 57 cents, or 6.8%, to $8.93 after it said Tuesday that it created two new research units to drive its research initiatives under Nektar's PEGylation (use of a polymer to improve a drug's stability and ability to remain available in the body) and Pulmonary Business, which includes its inhaled antibiotic programs. The company said this will align its research activities with its strategic business objectives and allow for better decision-making and portfolio prioritization.

Nektar named Tim Riley vice president of its PEGylation research unit and John "Jay" Sisco as vice president of its pulmonary research unit. The company is a component of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was up 18.74, or 2.24%, to 843.51.

Elsewhere, Goldman Sachs upgraded Shire (SHPGY) to buy from neutral, adding it to its "conviction buy" list.

Shares slid last week following discussion that the company was having difficulty switching patients who were using Adderall XR (the Adderall patent is set to expire in early 2009) to its Vyvanse, which is protected until 2023. Goldman said the issues shouldn't be surprising given the limited period Vyvanse has been available in the U.S. and the fact that the school term began just recently. Shire added $2.44, or 3.5%, to $71.28.

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