Wednesday's Health Winners & Losers

Tenet Healthcare is rising.
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Vaccine developer

Novavax

(NVAX) - Get Report

sank after the company announced that it's filed a shelf registration allowing it to sell $100 million of its stock.

The shares fell 8.8% to $4.78. The registration statement carries forward $42 million in unissued shares under a previous registration statement from December 2005. The new registration statement has not yet become effective. Novavax says it has no plans to access the capital markets right now.

Tenet Healthcare

(THC) - Get Report

rose 2.7% to $7.19 after reaching a partial settlement with the Internal Revenue Service. The company will pay $80 million in taxes and interest in the fourth quarter following audits of its tax returns from 1995 to 1997.

The settlement relates to the deductibility of a portion of a civil settlement the company paid to the federal government in 1994 and the amount of tax-depreciation expenses claimed during those fiscal years for certain capital expenditures. Tenet doesn't expect the settlement to have a material impact on income from continuing operations or discontinued operations after accounting for the impact of the deferred tax-valuation allowance.

Thousands of federal lawsuits claiming

Merck's

(MRK) - Get Report

Vioxx killed or injured people by causing heart attacks cannot be pooled into one national class action, a judge ruled. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon rejected the plaintiffs' proposal to try all of the cases under the laws in New Jersey, where Merck is headquartered. Shares of Merck were up 0.1% to $44.28.

A generic-drugmaker has begun selling cheap copies of a major

AstraZeneca

(AZN) - Get Report

medication, forcing the pharmaceutical giant to adjust its full-year earnings estimate and to make a deal to ease the revenue damage.

But because AstraZeneca has been warning investors and analysts for several months about potential generic competition, its stock was absorbing the news, rising 0.5% to $57.27. The drug is Toprol-XL for high blood-pressure, AstraZeneca's third-best selling product.

Among other movers were

Cephalon

(CEPH)

, up 1.8% to $74.70,

Aspreva Pharmaceuticals

(ASPV)

, gaining 6.9% to $19.79,

Hospira

(HSP)

rising 4.1% to $32.44, and

Idera Pharmaceuticals

(IDP)

, whose shares were boosted 9% to $5.35.

Geron's

(GERN) - Get Report

shares lost 2.8% to $8.48,

Osiris Therapeutics

(OSIR) - Get Report

shares were 3% lower to $20.18,

PDL BioPharma

(PDLI) - Get Report

sank 2.4% to $22.12, and

Arena Pharmaceuticals

(ARNA) - Get Report

fell 1.4% to $14.54.