Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

edged lower after it dropped out of a partnership with the Dutch company

Organon

to develop and market a treatment for schizophrenia.

The two companies said Pfizer will return "all product rights, intellectual property and data to Organon and make orderly transitions during 2007." Pfizer's decision to quit the program "is an outcome of a commercial analysis of the compound as a part of its overall portfolio," the statement said.

Organon said it will continue to develop the drug asenapine. Organon is the pharmaceutical division of

Akzo Nobel

(AKZOY)

, a drug and chemical conglomerate. Shares of Pfizer were off 0.3% at $26.90.

Hemispherx Biopharma

(HEB)

appointed health care consultant Anthony Bonelli as its new president and chief operating officer. Bonelli is replacing Doug Hulse, who has been serving part-time as president and COO. Hulse had been contracted to Hemispherx from Sage Group.

Hemispherx says Bonelli has more than 25 years of health care industry experience. He was recently president and CEO of DNA sciences company Optigenex and previously served as an adviser for companies including

Schering-Plough

( SGP) and

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

. Shares of Hemispherx fell 2.6% to $1.87.

Generic drugmaker

Barr Pharmaceuticals

( BRL) received regulatory approval for its version of

Bristol-Myers Squibb's

(BMY) - Get Report

cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the generic, known as pravastatin, at three dosage levels, 10, 20 and 40 milligrams. The agency also gave Barr tentative approval of an 80-milligram pill, which the company plans to roll out after a competitor's 180-day exclusivity period ends, pending final approval by the FDA.

Pravachol lost U.S. patent protection earlier this year. Other companies have already received the go-ahead to sell their own versions of the drug. Shares of Barr rose 0.4% to $50.26.

St. Jude Medical

(STJ)

advanced after receiving regulatory approval for a new type of insulation designed for use with its heart-rhythm devices.

The material, called Optim lead insulation, is a silicone-polyurethane hybrid that will be used in wires that connect pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators to the heart. The new technology is designed to provided doctors with better flexibility and handling during device implantation, St. Jude says. Shares rose nearly 2% to $37.62.

AngioDynamics

(ANGO) - Get Report

agreed to buy

Rita Medical

( RITA) for $220 million, mostly in stock, lifting shares of both companies.

Holders of Rita will get 0.1722 AngioDynamics common share and some cash, based on AngioDynamics' average closing stock price. Excluding transaction-related costs and one-time integration expenses, AngioDynamics expects the acquisition to be neutral to its fiscal year 2007 earnings and to add a nickel a share to its fiscal year 2008 earnings. Rita rose 12.4% to $4.44, and AngioDynamics was up 0.1% at $22.05.