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Health Winners & Losers: Biovail

Health stocks, although light on news, closed the week on a down note in line with the broader markets.

The Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices each closed Friday down 0.9%. Components Amylin (AMLN)and Biogen Idec (BIIB - Get Report) gave up 1.6% and 2%, respectively.

Trubion (TRBN) said Thursday post close that it extended by one year the research period under its deal with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (WYE). Under the terms of the extension, Wyeth is responsible for collaboration research funding of roughly $3.2 million in exchange for research services through Dec. 22, 2009. Trubion's shares initially rose, but ended the day down 14 cents, or 2.7%, at $5.14.

Wyeth shares were ended roughly flat at $47.85. The stock is a component of the Amex Pharmaceutical index, which was down 1.3% at 284.77.

Fellow component Merck (MRK - Get Report) said Friday that it met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discuss the not-approvable letter that the company received regarding its new-drug application for cholesterol drug MK-0524A, a combination of niacin and Cordaptive. The company said additional safety and efficacy data are required.

Merck said the earliest it may be able to file a complete response to the FDA action letter will be 2010, and that the FDA suggested it wait for the results of a study expected to wrap up in January of 2013. The company also said it won't seek approval for its MK-0524B until it completes the response for MK-0524A. Shares fell 47 cents, or 1.3%, to $35.13.
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