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Wednesday's Health Winners & Losers

Updated from 1:32 p.m. EDT

Overall, clinical results and an array of announcements put health stocks in promising water on hump day -- though there's always an exception.

CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals (CGPI) fell on results of a phase II dose-finding study designed to evaluate the safety and determine the therapeutic range of incyclinide for the treatment of rosacea. The patients who were administered incyclinide didn't demonstrate a greater reduction in inflammatory lesions than the placebo arm at any point during the study, and thus the company is ending clinical development of incyclinide for rosacea patients. CollaGenex, which said it is planning to conduct additional development work for incyclinide for acne, fell $1.78, or 16%, to $9.35.

Other health care companies gave positive results, sending their stocks in the other direction. Alkermes (ALKS) and Indevus Pharmaceuticals (IDEV) announced positive preliminary results from a phase IIa clinical study of ALKS 27, an inhaled formulation of trospium choloride, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The companies said single doses of ALKS 27 produced a rapid and statistically significant improvement in lung function over 24 hours compared with placebo.

Alkermes gained $1.24, or 7.4%, to $17.92, and Indevus up 0.9% at $6.68. They're both components of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was up 7.96 points, or 0.9%, to 858.21.

Also, Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) reported positive results from phase I and preclinical studies of NKTR-118, an oral therapy for opioid-bowel dysfunction (OBD), including opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

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