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Health Winners & Losers: Ligand

Ligand Pharma falls on an FDA review of blood-clotting disorder drug Promacta.

Health stocks were relatively lifeless midweek, amid regulatory-related news, clinical data and analyst actions Wednesday.

Shares of

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Report

fell $1.92, or 36%, to $2.30 after the Food and Drug Administration posted a review prefacing an advisory panel noted that the company and partner


(GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline Plc Report

blood-clotting disorder drug Promacta hadn't shown enough efficacy to merit approval. The review bit into Ligand, but Glaxo mostly hugged the flatline.

Meanwhile, the FDA sent

The Medicines Co.

(MDCO) - Get Medicines Company Report

a "non-approvable" letter for expanded use of its blood thinner Angiomax to include acute coronary syndromes in emergency rooms. The FDA indicated that the basis of its decision regarded the appropriate use and interpretation of non-inferiority trials, including ACUITY, the primary basis of the company's filing.

The Medicines Co reaffirmed its sales expectations for the drug and said it disagrees with the FDA and has begun discussions with the agency on the matter. Shares fell $1.47, or 7.4%, to $18.47.

The Medicines Co and Ligand are both components of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 0.3% at 799.76.



TheStreet Recommends

(AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report

presented more data

Wednesday on a phase III, head-to-head trial comparing its bone drug Denosumab to


(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report

Fosamax. The company had previously announced that the study had met its primary and secondary endpoints, and said on Wednesday that Denosumab increased bone mineral density at the total hip -- the primary endpoint in the study -- by 3.5% compared with 2.5% in the Fosamax arm. Wall Street was cautious about safety data in the study, although differences between the arms weren't statistically significant. Amgen shares fell 22 cents, or 0.5%, to $42.82.

Human Genome Sciences


offered an

update on its late-stage products and new initiatives

. The company also announced Wednesday that it and partner Glaxo will initiate a phase II trial of LymphoStat-B for use in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

HGSI shares climbed 1.7% to $5.91.

A couple of analyst actions: RBC Capital Markets upgraded



to sector perform from underperform and upped the price target by a dollar to $10. Shares rose 43 cents, or 5.4%, to $8.36.

Also, Lehman Brothers upgraded



to equal weight from underweight, hiking its price target to $31 from $23. Amylin added 40 cents, or 1.1%, to $30.99.