Updated from 2:24 p.m. Shares of ID Biomedical ( IDBE) were among the best-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Friday, rising 6.8% after the company's flu drug received testing approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The company, which plans to begin immediate testing in the United States, said it would ship product to the U.S. and enroll subjects before the end of January. The trial will involve 300 healthy adults, ranging from 18 to 64 years old. The study is designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of its Fluviral drug in healthy adults. "We are currently in active discussions with the FDA regarding our clinical and regulatory strategy for Fluviral's entry into the U.S.," the company said. "Once we have a full picture, we can determine whether accelerated approval is feasible for this year." Shares traded up 97 cents to $15.17. NMT Medical ( NMTI) rose 16.7% after the medical device maker said patient enrollment for its migraine headache study in Europe would be completed earlier than expected. The study is designed to measure the effectiveness of NMT's Starflex implant technology in the treatment of certain migraine headaches. The company now expects patient enrollment to be completed during the third quarter of 2005, a quarter ahead of schedule, it said. Shares traded up 80 cents to $5.58. Shares of ImmunoGen ( IMGN) fell 4.9% after the company said its chief financial officer left the company to pursue other interests. Karleen Oberton, the company's senior corporate controller, will assume Christopher Missling's responsibilities until a permanent CFO is found. Oberton joined ImmunoGen in February 2004. Shares traded down 41 cents to $8.04. Depomed ( DEPO) fell 11.4% after the drug maker said it plans to sell 5 million shares of stock for $4.50 apiece, raising about $23 million in gross proceeds. The price represents a 16% discount to Thursday's closing price of $5.33. Thomas Weisel Partners acted as placement agent for the sale. Shares traded down 61 cents to $4.72.
Other health care movers included Aastrom Biosciences ( ASTM), up 46 cents to $2.28; Biopure ( BPUR), up 4 cents to 61 cents; Pfizer ( PFE), up 1 cent to $26.30; StemCells ( STEM), down 8 cents to $5.70; Merck ( MRK), down 40 cents to $31.13; Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 42 cents to $21.21; Amgen ( AMGN), up 13 cents to $62.97; Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), down 1 cent to $24.74; Genentech ( DNA), up 57 cents to $54.17.