Updated from 2:41 p.m. EDT

Shares of

CancerVax

( CNVX) were among the best-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Thursday, rising 14.4% after the company announced a deal to help develop a skin cancer treatment.

As part of the development deal, Swiss drug maker

Serono

will pay CancerVax an upfront payment of $37 million, which includes $25 million in signing fees and $12 million for a million shares of CancerVax, and up to $253 million in additional payments if certain milestones are reached. The two companies will share certain expenses and profits in the U.S. on a 50/50 basis, while Serono will have the exclusive right to commercialize Canvaxin outside of the U.S. Serono will pay royalties to CancerVax based on sales of the product. Canvaxin is currently being tested in Phase III trials for advanced-stage melanoma. Shares traded up $1.43 to $11.34.

Herbalife

(HLF) - Get Report

rose 5.1% on its first day of trading as a public company. The nutritional supplements company sold 14.5 million shares at $14 apiece, raising about $200 million. The pricing came in below its expected range of $14.50 to $16.50 a share. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley led the underwriting syndicate. Shares traded up 72 cents to $14.72.

Shares of

Abaxis

(ABAX) - Get Report

fell 4.6% after the company terminated its relationship with Vedco, a warehousing cooperative for distributors that sold Abaxis' products. As a result of the split with Vedco, Abaxis said that it would deliver third-quarter sales of $10.5 million to $12 million, $1.8 million to $2.1 million less than it had anticipated. Abaxis, a medical products company, said the move would provide it with "greater visibility to manage its business based on individual distributor sales forecasts, and to offer realistic price incentives based on actual distributor sales volumes." As a result of the one-time realignment, Abaxis said it would earn between 2 cents and 4 cents a share during the third quarter. Finally, Abaxis said that it has negotiated direct distributor agreements with several Vedco members. Shares were trading down 71 cents to $14.65.

Serologicals

( SERO) fell 0.9% after the company said it would sell 5.56 million shares of stock for $22.80 apiece. The deal is expected to result in net proceeds of about $91.4 million for the company. Serologicals will use $80 million to repay debt; the rest will be used for general corporate purposes. The provider of biological products said that selling shareholders would receive net proceeds of about $29.7 million. Shares traded down 20 cents to $22.82.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 66 cents to $28.98;

Guidant

( GDT), down 35 cents to $71.70;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, up $1.31 to $31.79;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, up $2.55 to $63.45; and

Schering-Plough

( SGP), up 51 cents to $20.46.