Health Stocks in Motion

Geron rises on stem cell patent.
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Shares of

Geron

(GERN) - Get Report

were among the best-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Tuesday, rising 8.1% after the company was awarded a stem cell patent.

The patent covers the growth of human embryonic stem cells in the absence of feeder cells, the company said. Geron hopes the technology covered by the patent will enable it to commercially manufacture hESC-based therapeutic products. Geron's programs for hESC-based therapies are geared toward the treatment of spinal cord injury, heart disease and diabetes. Shares of Geron traded up 52 cents to $6.91.

Genentech

(DNA)

fell 5.3% after the company disclosed that it received a subpoena from the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The investigation, which is both civil and criminal, according to Genentech, centers on the marketing of the company's Rituxan drug, which is used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Genentech said that it plans to cooperate with investigators. Shares traded down $2.86 to $51.13.

Shares of

Siga Technologies

(SIGA) - Get Report

rose 5.8% after the company announced that its lead smallpox compound demonstrated "significant antiviral activity against several mouse models of poxvirus disease." In one study, SIGA-246 protected mice from lethal doses of ectromelia virus, a virus that is closely related to human smallpox. Smallpox, which is classified as a category A bioterrorism agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is easily transmitted and has high mortality rates. Siga said the strong data strongly supports further development of the compound. Shares traded up 8 cents to $1.44.

Genelabs

(GNLB)

fell 65.6% after the company's Prestara drug did not prove effective in increasing the bone mineral density of women with systemic lupus erythematosus. The biopharmaceutical company plans to meet with officials from the Food and Drug Administration to determine what its next steps should be. Meanwhile, Genelabs will continue to analyze the data from its preliminary results, though the process "typically takes some time," the company said. Previously, the FDA issued an approvable letter to Genelabs for Prestara. The approvable letter, however, was contingent upon the company generating additional data that would confirm the company's first phase III study of Prestara. Shares of Genelabs traded down $1.70 to 89 cents.

Shares of

Forest Labs

(FRX)

rose 2.7% after the company said second- and third-quarter earnings would be above expectations. The drugmaker now expects second-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share. Third-quarter earnings are expected to be comparable to second-quarter results, Forest said. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting second-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share and third-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share. Strong second-quarter sales of Lexapro, Celexa and Namenda led to the upbeat results. Forest Labs will release its second-quarter results on Oct. 18. Shares traded up $1.23 to $46.97.

Other health care volume movers included

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 80 cents to $33.43;

Chiron

(CHIR) - Get Report

, down $7.44 to $37.98;

MedImmune

(MEDI)

, up $1.41 to $25.78;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 1 cent to $31.29; and

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, down 13 cents to $57.50.