Updated from 2:26 p.m. EDTShares of AtheroGenics ( AGIX) were among the worst-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Monday, falling 20.5% after the company said that a phase III trial would take longer than expected. The company increased enrollment for its study of AGI-1067, a compound being tested for the treatment of atherosclerosis. The trial is now scheduled to reach full patient enrollment by mid-2005, and the company doesn't expect to complete the trial until the first quarter of 2006. AtheroGenics plans to file a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration shortly after it completes and analyzes the trial results. Analysts had expected full results by the second half of 2005. Shares traded down $4.84 to $18.72. SuperGen ( SUPG) fell 13.5% after the company withdrew its new drug application for Orathecin, an investigational drug used for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The decision to withdraw the application was based on feedback from the FDA and the company's consultants. SuperGen said that the "current data package would not be sufficient to gain approval for Orathecin at this time in the United States." In the meantime, SuperGen said its European filing remains on track and that its phase III trial continues to move forward. Shares traded down 95 cents to $6.10. Shares of Microvision ( MVIS) rose 2.7% after the company said it signed a licensing agreement with Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), to develop medical products using Microvision's imaging technology. As part of the deal, Microvision can earn up to $6.2 million consisting of upfront license fees and additional fees related to developing and delivering prototypes. The deal also contains terms that could allow Microvision to supply products to Ethicon. Shares traded up 19 cents to $7.19.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY) rose 1.5% after the company received a $7 million milestone payment from Merck ( MRK). The payment, which consisted of a $5 million equity investment at $7.04 a share and $2 million in cash, was made as part of a collaboration between the two companies to develop RNAi technology and therapeutics. Shares of Alnylam traded up 11 cents to $7.58. Other health care volume movers included Biopure ( BPUR), up 10 cents to 69 cents; Pfizer ( PFE), down 44 cents to $26.45; Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 17 cents to $21.05; Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), down 19 cents to $25.43; and Genentech ( DNA), down $1.52 to $52.92.