Health stocks offered little inspiration at the end of the week as news and trading were light ahead of the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.
New York drug maker
said Friday that a court in Copenhagen, Denmark, ruled in its favor -- and against generic drug company Ranbaxy -- regarding patents covering atorvastatin, the active ingredient in Lipitor.
The court ruled that Ranbaxy's generic atorvastatin product would infringe on Pfizer's basic patent for the drug, which expires in November 2011. Pfizer shares fell 16 cents on Friday.
said Friday it would incur a $235 million charge in the next quarter to drop the development of its antibiotic Aurograb. The company said the drug lacked for life-threatening bacterial infections in a mid-stage study. Shares were down 38 cents, or 0.7%, to $55.64.
Novartis and Pfizer are both components of the Amex Pharmaceutical index, which was down 3.79, or 1.2%, at 309.92. Pharmaceutical stocks' biotech cousins did little better. The Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices were down 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.
and its partner, Japanese company
, late Thursday said they planned to suspend development of Hematide for chemotherapy-induced anemia because of the uncertain regulatory environment for such drugs in cancer indications.
Regulatory and reimbursement issues and safety concerns have clipped sales of so-called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, such as
Johnson & Johnson's
Procrit, in cancer indications over the past two years.
and Takeda said they will halt enrollment in a phase I study, and plan to focus their efforts on developing the red-blood-cell producing agent for anemia related to chronic renal failure.
Affymax shares opened lower Friday but rebounded to close up $1.17, or 6.7%, to $18.74.
For the second day in a row, small-cap stock
shares rose, adding 95 cents, or 33%, to $3.85 on Friday. The company said Thursday it received a complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration for Bema Fentanyl for breakthrough pain. It said regulators requested modifications to the submitted risk management program, but noted no deficiencies in other areas, and it now anticipates approval in the first half of 2009.