Health Stocks in Motion

Idenix Pharmaceuticals jumps after reporting positive data for a hepatitis C treatment.
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Idenix Pharmaceuticals

(IDIX)

was among the best-performing health-related stocks Monday, gaining 15% after the company reported promising data for a hepatitis C treatment.

The biopharmaceutical company said partial four-week data from its Phase IIb trial of valopicitabine combined with the drug Pegasys resulted in a "rapid and marked" reduction in patients' hepatitis C virus levels. After four weeks of treatment, the average reduction in virus levels was roughly 99.99% among patients that began with 800 mg of valopicitabine. Idenix is presenting additional data from the trial in the spring and will begin a Phase III trial in the second half of 2006. The company's shares recently were up $2.53 to $19.39.

Shares of

BioLase Technology

(BLTI)

rose 12% after the company estimated its fourth-quarter revenue to be $19 million. Two analysts polled by Thomson First Call have an average estimate for revenue of $17 million. BioLase, which makes lasers for dentistry and medical procedures, also expects its cash flow from operations to be neutral for the quarter. Shares were up 98 cents to $8.94.

Emisphere Technologies

(EMIS)

shares surged 23% after an Indiana judge ruled that

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

breached certain contractual obligations. According to Emisphere, the judge said that Lilly's license agreements with Emisphere for oral parathyroid hormone, which is used to treat osteoporosis, were properly terminated. Emisphere ended its license agreement with Lilly in 2004, citing breach of contract, and Lilly filed a lawsuit to stop the move. The judge's decision upholding the termination allows Emisphere to license oral PTH to

Novartis

(NVS) - Get Report

. Emisphere shares were up $1.06 to $5.73.

Lilly, meanwhile, signed a deal with

Alkermes

(ALKS) - Get Report

to develop an inhaled version of the parathyroid hormone. Under the terms of the agreement, Alkermes will receive product-development funding, as well as upfront and milestone payments. Lilly will have exclusive rights to products resulting from the collaboration and will pay Alkermes royalties based on product sales. Lilly currently markets an injectable version of the hormone under the name Forteo. Lilly shares rose 65 cents, or 1.1%, to $58.47, while Alkermes shares shot up $1.72, or 7.4%, to $24.83.

Santarus

(SNTS)

fell 8% after TAP Pharmaceutical gave the company notice that it plans to terminate a sublicense agreement in 60 days. Under the agreement, Santarus granted TAP rights to sell products related to its immediate-release proton pump inhibitor technology. After the pact ends, Santarus will retain rights to the technology, and TAP will be obligated to provide the company with data associated with its development efforts to date under the agreement, Santarus said. The company's shares were down 48 cents to $5.50.

Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

rose 4% after signing a license agreement with biotech giant

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

. Under the deal, Amgen will receive rights to develop products based on a gene discovered by Human Genome that may have potential use for treating autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies or suppression, and cancer. Amgen also bought the rights to develop diagnostic products based on the same gene. Human Genome will receive an upfront payment and certain annual fees, as well as milestone payments and royalties based on sales of any commercialized products. Human Genome shares were up 38 cents to $10.03, while Amgen rose 50 cents to $78.60.