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Tuesday's Health Winners & Losers

Medicines Co. gets a dose of bad news in a downgrade.

Shares of

The Medicines Co.

(MDCO) - Get Medicines Company Report

sank 5.6% to $31.87 Tuesday after the company got a brokerage downgrade and set plans to sell 6 million shares.

"Our downgrade is based on valuation, as potential upside from current levels no longer supports a neutral rating," wrote UBS analyst Maged Shenouda, who lowered his rating to reduce from neutral.

Shares of

Genesis Healthcare

(GHCI)

soared 16.1% to $61.35 after the company said it's being acquired by private equity investment firms Formation Capital and JER Partners.

The firms will acquire the company for $63 a share in cash. Including the assumption of approximately $450 million of debt, the deal is worth $1.7 billion.

Shares of drugmaker

Cephalon

(CEPH)

rose Tuesday after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral on strong sales trends.

"We believe CEPH shares deserve to trade at a premium," wrote JPMorgan health care analyst Adam Greene in a research report, saying the company's current valuation leaves room for upside. Shares rose 30 cents to $70.61.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals'

TheStreet Recommends

(VRTX) - Get Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Report

shares gained 1.4% to $38.32 on an upgrade to neutral from negative by Susquehanna Financial.

The stock slid late last year on disappointing data on its hepatitis C drug VX-950, and the company lost nearly $1 billion in market capitalization, but the side effects of the drug are now considered manageable and analyst Jason Kolbert says doctors should adopt the use of VX-950 quickly. Vertex is also expected to receive significant royalties from its partners

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report

and

Mitsubishi

.

Among other health stock winners Tuesday were

GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report

, 1.4% higher to $54.51;

AstraZeneca

(AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report

, up 1.3% to $57.09;

Genentech

(DNA)

, lifting 1.4% to $88.07;

Novavax

(NVAX) - Get Novavax, Inc. Report

, gaining 14.6% to $4.55; and

GPC Biotech

(GPCB)

, rising 15.8% to $30.35.

Among the losers were

Novogen

(NVGN)

, losing 3% to $11.56;

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals

(KERX) - Get Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Report

, down 1.6% to $12.70,

Par Pharmaceutical

(PRX)

, off 1.1% to $23.51;

Meridian Bioscience

(VIVO) - Get Meridian Bioscience, Inc. Report

, falling 2.1% to $26.81; and

Immucor

(BLUD)

, down 1.8% to $33.05.