Updated from 3:15 p.m.

Shares of

NitroMed

( NTMD) were among the best-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Thursday after the company said clinical trial data for its heart failure drug would be presented at a session of the American Heart Association's annual meeting.

In July, the pharmaceutical company halted its clinical studies prematurely as a result of the significant survival benefits of its BiDil drug, which is used in the treatment of heart failure in African Americans. In August, the company entered a letter of intent with Publicis Selling Solutions of New Jersey to establish a sales force of about 200. The company hopes to have the sales employees on board during the first quarter of 2005 and ready to sell BiDil as soon as the FDA approves it for marketing. Shares of NitroMed traded up $2.60, or 13.2%, to $22.29.

Cyberonics

(CYBX)

fell after the company rebuffed

Advanced Neuromodulation Systems'

(ANSI)

latest offer to buy the company for $22 a share in cash and stock. Late Wednesday, Cyberonics said that it has "no interest in any merger of combination" with ANS. After meeting with its financial adviser, Cyberonics said that it would remain independent and continue to focus on strengthening its epilepsy business. After rising almost 23% on Wednesday, shares of Cyberonics traded down 35 cents, or 1.5%, to $22.88 on Thursday.

Shares of

Protein Design Labs

(PDLI) - Get Report

traded actively Thursday after the company reached an agreement with

Roche Holding

to codevelop Zenapax, a drug currently used to help prevent organ transplant rejection, for use in people who suffer from asthma. Roche will pay Protein Design Labs $17.5 million in upfront payments and as much as $187.5 million in the future if certain milestones are reached. The two companies agreed to the deal after phase II data showed positive results in patients with moderate to severe asthma. Shares of Protein Design traded down 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $20.28.

Third Wave Technologies

(TWTI)

rose after it filed a patent infringement suit against

Stratagene

( STGN). Third Wave is seeking an injunction that would prevent Stratagene from selling its probe-based quantitative PCR and RT-PCR reagents. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin. Shares of Third Wave traded up 49 cents, or 8.1%, to $6.56.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 7 cents to $31.78;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 4 cents to $58.19;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 22 cents to $45.18;

Schering-Plough

( SGP), down 8 cents to $19.48;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, down 6 cents to $58.12; and

Genentech

( DNA), down 21 cents to $51.53.