Biotech stocks overall ticked up slightly Thursday, but one notable exception was
(CEGE), which sank 75% to 17 cents on word of a serious clinical setback.
The decline in Cell Genesys came after the company said it terminated a second study on its prostate cancer vaccine
GVAX, and said it would cut 75% of its workforce.
Still, Cell Genesys did little to hurt the Nasdaq Biotechnology index, of which it's a component. The index added 3.3%, outperforming the broader market.
The Amex Biotechnology index added 2.1%. Components and biotech bellwethers
(AMGN - Get Report) and
(CELG - Get Report) added 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively.
(CELG - Get Report)
and Acceleron Pharma said they have initiated a midstage trial on an investigational bone loss therapy in patients with multiple myeloma. It will trigger a $5 million milestone payment from Celgene to Acceleron.
Following the close, earnings are expected from
(GILD - Get Report)
. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for a profit of 49 cents a share on $1.32 billion in revenue. Gilead shares were up 5.9% ahead of quarterly results.
Elsewhere, Brean Murray and Merriman Curhan Ford initiated coverage on multiple small- to mid-cap health-care stocks.
Brean Murray began coverage on
with a hold rating. Shares were off by 1.5% at $15.82.
The firm also picked up coverage on
(NUVA - Get Report)
(HNSN - Get Report)
with buy ratings. Xtent shares were up 9.8%, and NuVasive gave up 2.2%. Hansen Medical gained 6.6%.
Meanwhile, Merriman Curhan Ford started
with a sell rating. The stock was down 1.7%, at $80.06. The firm began coverage on
with a neutral rating. Shares rose 7.3% to $1.61.