(Biotech winners and losers item updated for stock closing stock prices.)



) -- Pain relief became the theme of Tuesday's trading session in biotech land, after


(PFE) - Get Report

$3.6 billion deal to acquire

King Pharmaceuticals

( KG), a pain-reliever specialist,

came to light before the opening bell


The news drove King's stock to the cusp of Pfizer's offer price -- the equivalent of $14.25 a share, a 40% premium to the Monday close. Shares of the Bristol, Tenn.-based King, which also does a robust business in veterinary medicine, ended trading at $14.14, up 39%, or $3.99. More than a quarter of a billion King shares changed hands Tuesday, almost 100 times the daily average.

The deal also helped the shares of an early-stage painkiller developer with a rather literal name:

Pain Therapeutics


, which

has teamed with King on the development

of Pain's lead drug candidate, called Remoxy, currently in clinical trials.

The two companies also have a licensing agreement for Remoxy, a "strong painkiller," Pain says in its press materials, the main selling point of which appears to be that it has a "unique formulation designed to reduce potential risks of unintended use." In other words, the Remoxy recipe, delivered as a capsule, makes it hard for users to binge on the drug and get addicted to its painkiller qualities.

Investors and traders were apparently excited by the notion of a global Pfizer sales and marketing force pushing Remoxy into the dreamed-for blockbuster realm. King was slated to submit a new drug application for Remoxy with the Food and Drug Administration sometime during the fourth quarter.

Pain shares closed Tuesday up 18.6% to $7.41. Volume exceeded one million shares, 14 times the daily average turnover in this normally lightly traded name.

Similarly, investors bid up shares of

Acura Pharmaceuticals


in light of the company's partnership with King to develop another pain reliever meant to prevent abuse.

Acura shares, also fairly illiquid, ended the day up 12% to $2.55.

For the most part Tuesday, biotech stocks finished in the green, following the broader market higher. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index finished the day down 5.76 points at 914.15.

Alexca Pharmaceuticals


stock continued to decline after

Monday's bloodbath

, sparked by the

FDA's decision to deny approval

of the company's schizophrenia treatment.

By the closing bell Tuesday, Alexca shares paired earlier losses, finishing the session down 3% to $1.34 in another day of frantic trading. Investors wiped out half the company's market value during the previous session.

Elsewhere in the world of experimental tinctures,


(GERN) - Get Report

stock continued to climb in the wake of the stem-cell drug developer's historic launch of human clinical trials Monday.

The stock closed at $6.37, adding another 12% Tuesday. Volume in Geron shares Tuesday was heavy again, surpassing 9 million. Average daily turnover is about 1 million.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York



>>Biotech Winners & Losers: Alexza, Geron

>>Pfizer Buying King Pharma

>>FDA O-Fer October Drug Approvals

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