Health stocks were a mixed read at the start of the week, with
boosting biotech but sad Vytorin results weighing on Big Pharma names.
Genentech traded up Monday after majority shareholder
, for the remaining stake of the company. The offer will go to an independent committee of Genentech's board, and possibly materialize into a merger proposal that the minority shareholders will vote upon.
Wall Street analysts overwhelmingly felt the price was too low, mostly in light of the potential value in Genentech's cancer drug Avastin. Genentech shares climbed 14.7% to $93.88.
Some other big biotech stocks got a lift on the M&A news. Genentech peer
gained 3.4%, and
tacked on 0.9%, 1.4% and 2%, respectively.
The Amex biotechnology index added 2% to 811.15. The Amex pharma index, on the other hand, fell 1.3% to 302.61.
Two components that weighed on it were
which postponed earnings to evaluate new
study data related to Vytorin
this afternoon. The cholesterol drug was no better than placebo in the SEAS trial at lowering the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients suffering from aortic stenosis, a condition that blocks blood flow to part of the heart. The drug also didn't improve aortic valve disease events, such as valve replacement surgery, hospitalization due to heart failure and death related to the heart.
Moreover, there were more cancer deaths in the Vytorin arm of the study than in the placebo -- although the companies said any relationship is inconclusive because of the small sample size in the study.
Merck shares traded down 6.2% to $35.33, while Schering's shares gave up 11.6% to $18.95. The companies had delayed earnings in order to release the study data on Monday -- both will air their quarterly results after the market close.
also fell on Monday, giving up 1.5%, 1.2% and 1.8%, respectively.
Also on the losing side,
aid Monday that it needs to restate financial results, having overstated revenue for the past two years. Shares plummeted $16.82, or 42%, to $23.21.