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Transaction and regulatory updates weren't enough to motivate movement in lukewarm health indices Thursday.

One stock on the uptick was

Isis Pharmaceuticals


, which gained 78 cents, or 4.9%, to $13.38,

after announcing a deal with

Johnson & Johnson's

(JNJ) - Get Free Report

Ortho-McNeil to develop and market drugs for metabolic diseases such as type II diabetes and obesity.

Isis will get a $45 million licensing fee upfront and as much as $230 million more in milestone payments. Meanwhile, Ortho-McNeil gets worldwide development and commercialization rights to two of Isis' diabetes development candidates, ISIS 325568 and ISIS 377131.

In another deal that closed today,

Inverness Medical Innovations


completed its $326.3 million buyout of diagnostics company

Cholestech Corp.

after Cholestech's shareholders approved the merger at a meeting today.

Cholestech stockholders received 0.4 shares of Inverness common stock for each Cholestech share, resulting in a total issuance of some 6.8 million shares of Inverness common stock. Options to purchase shares of Cholestech outstanding prior to the completion of the acquisition were converted into a right to acquire Inverness shares, at the same exchange ratio of 0.4. Inverness shares added 79 cents, or 1.6%, to $49.35.

Elsewhere, in regulatory updates:

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

(SPPI) - Get Free Report

said Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration accepted an amendment to its new-drug application (NDA) for ISO-Vorin for injection, which is used after the chemotherapy treatment methotrexate to treat osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

During a review of the application, the FDA asked questions about the chemistry manufacturing and control section of the NDA. The company said the amendment provides manufacturing information and six-month stability data on commercial batches.

The Oncology Drug Advisory Committee already recommended ISO-Vorin for approval. The FDA has targeted Jan.11 as its action date regarding the approval of the ISO-Vorin application. Spectrum edged up 8 cents, or 1.8%, to $4.55.

The FDA told



and development partner


(GSK) - Get Free Report

that it needed more time to

review submissions for a release on the clinical hold of Adolor's lead prospect, Entereg, for postoperative ileus. Adolor gave up 28 cents, or 7%, to $3.70.




lagged a bit Thursday after the FDA

posted an alert to pain-management specialists and health-care professionals regarding Fentora, the company's treatment for breakthrough pain in cancer patients. The company issued letters Monday, saying that it recently learned of serious adverse events, including deaths, in patients treated with Fentora, due to improper patient selection, dosing and product substitution.

Shares were down $3.99, or 5.2%, to $72.55. The stock is a component of the Amex biotechnology index, which was down 3.52, or 0.4%, to 807.92.


King Pharma


said Wednesday after market close that it would

seek a rehearing on a court decision that found Indian drugmaker Lupin's application for a generic version of Altace didn't infringe on King's patent for the blood-pressure medication.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Lupin on Tuesday, applying the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the KSR International vs. Teleflex U.S. case to invalidate the patent on the basis of obviousness. King said Wednesday that it believes the decision relies on factual inaccuracies. King was trading down 55 cents, or 4.5%, at $11.80.