GenVec

(GNVC)

received a new government contract, potentially worth $52 million, to support the development of an HIV vaccine.

Under the five-year deal, GenVec would receive the funds to support the transfer of its vaccine manufacturing and purification processes to the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center plant in Frederick, Md. GenVec's shares rose 20 cents, or 18.4%, to $1.29.

Pressure BioSciences

(PBIO)

shares soared Thursday after the company said it received a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant, valued at $149,470, will help fund early experiments using the company's patented cell technology. Shares were up 55 cents, or 15%, to $4.30, on heavy volume.

Studies will be conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of using the company's pressure-cycling technology to develop a new method of extracting substances from cells and tissues.

Immunotherapy company

Dynavax

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(DVAX) - Get Dynavax Technologies Corporation Report

was sharply higher after the company reported the results of a potential ragweed allergy therapy.

A study published in the

New England Journal of Medicine

showed that Dynavax's treatment, given over six weeks to patients with ragweed allergies, effectively reduced allergic responses for 12 months afterward.

Dynavax shares skyrocketed $2.74, or 55%, to $7.70, setting a new 52-week high.

Pharmaceuticals company

Wyeth

( WYE) will pay a Pennsylvania woman $1.5 million in compensatory damages after a jury found that her cancer was caused by the company's hormone drug Prempro.

"Clearly, the medical evidence overwhelmingly showed that Wyeth's drug Prempro caused Jennie Nelson's breast cancer, which required years of medical treatment and undue suffering for Jennie and her family," said Tobias Millrood of the law firm Schiffrin & Barroway, who represented Nelson.

Wyeth said it was disappointed with the decision and "respectfully disagrees that there is any scientific basis to support the jury's finding of a causal link between Wyeth's hormone therapies and the plaintiff's breast cancer." Shares of Wyeth slipped 28 cents, or 0.6%, to $50.90.