Shares of

Human Genome Sciences

( HGSI) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Wednesday, rising 8.2% after the company said its drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis performed well in a phase II clinical trial.

The biotech company said that LymphoStat-B met primary efficacy and safety endpoints. The results showed that the drug is safe and well tolerated, biologically active and reduces symptoms of RA at a statistically significant level. In terms of adverse events, serious adverse events, or lab abnormalities, the drug didn't show any clinically significant differences compared to a placebo. Shares traded up 76 cents to $10.02.

Merit Medical Systems

(MMSI) - Get Report

fell 3.9% after the maker of syringes and other disposable medical devices warned that 2005 earnings would fall well short of expectations. Excluding items, the company expects to post earnings of 65 cents to 67 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 72 cents a share on sales of $169 million. In March the company forecast sales of $167 million to $171 million. Shares traded down 49 cents to $12.25.

Shares of

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals


rose 2.9% Wednesday despite the company slashing 2005 biopharmaceutical sales estimates. The company now expects sales of $88 million to $91 million, down from previous guidance of $93 million to $96 million. The company said that sales of WinRho, which the company had marketed in the U.S. under a license and distribution agreement with Cangene that ended on Mar. 24, would total about $6 million during the first quarter. Nabi said that customers did not fully replace product sold through to patients during the transition period. Shares traded up 35 cents to $12.60.


( BLUD) fell 4.8% after the company's third-quarter results and future outlook failed to impress investors. During the third quarter the company earned $6.5 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $38 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 14 cents a share on sales of $36.4 million. Looking ahead, Immucor offered a mixed outlook, saying that it expects 2005 earnings of 54 cents to 55 cents a share, which is ahead of estimates, on sales of $143 million to $146 million, which would be just short of the $146.1 million that analysts had been expecting. For fiscal 2006, Immucor forecast earnings of 95 cents to $1.05 a share, in line with expectations, on sales of $181 million to $195 million, which is lower than the $196.4 million that analysts were expecting. Shares traded down $1.42 to $28.43.

Despite warning that earnings and sales during the first-quarter would be below expectations, shares of

Dendrite International

( DRTE) rose 3.2% Wednesday. Excluding items, the provider of software and services to the pharmaceutical industry said that it would post pro forma earnings of 11 cents to 13 cents a share on sales of $99 million to $100 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 19 cents a share on sales of $104.7 million. Dendrite blamed the first-quarter shortfall on the delay of several customer agreements but said that it expects to recapture the majority of the delayed sales during the first half of the year. Dendrite plans to report first-quarter earnings on April 28. Shares traded up 47 cents to $15.

Other health care movers included


(PFE) - Get Report

, down 4 cents to $26.86;

Forest Labs


, down $4.48 to $33.51;



, down 12 cents to $3.55;

Nyer Medical Group


, up 71 cents to $3.41;


( SGP), up 45 cents to $18.95;

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

, up 63 cents to $35.40;


(MRK) - Get Report

, down 15 cents to $32.89;


(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 19 cents to $58.05; and

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, down 20 cents to $68.81.