Updated from 3:42 p.m. EDT

Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals ( ISIS) were up 6.82% after the company announced that its phase I clinical trial of ISIS 301012, a cholesterol-reducing drug, produced rapid, dose-dependent and prolonged reductions of its target ApoB-100, while reducing LDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol levels.

The reductions occurred after one month of dosing and lasted more than 100 days. "ISIS 301012 is already showing the potential for an attractive profile, validating what we saw in preclinical studies, and we are excited about moving forward in clinical development," said Mark Wedal, vice president of clinical research and chief medical officer at Isis. The stock closed up 24 cents to $3.76.

Shares of Able Laboratories ( ABRX) slid 7.39% after the company announced that it is making further staff reductions. The company did not specify how many workers it would be laying off. The company said the cuts would help "conserve assets and assist it in retaining key employees as it continues to address pending regulatory issues." Able previously suspended its manufacturing operations after discovering problems with them. The stock traded down 32 cents to $4.02.

Shares of Canadian health care provider MDS ( MDZ) were up 0.21% after the company said it earned $30.24 million, or roughly 16 cents a share, for the second quarter ended April 30, compared with earnings of $51.73 million, or 19 cents, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $318.35 million, unchanged from a year ago. The stock traded up 13 cents to $14.38 after trading as low as $13.82 on the day.

CuraGen ( CRGN) rose 6.82% after its majority owned subsidiary, 454 Life Sciences, reported that one of its scientists had detailed a potentially new application for the company's technology -- ultra-deep sequencing of the HIV virus. Identifying and understanding HIV drug resistance is necessary to ensure the appropriate use of antiretroviral drugs and to minimize the spread of resistance. The stock closed up 26 cents to $4.07.

Other health stocks on the move were Merck ( MRK), down 28 cents to $31.35; Biogen Idec ( BIIB), up $1.78 to $35.13; Elan ( ELN), up 77 cents to $7.37; and Pfizer ( PFE), down 12 cents to $27.53.

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