Shares of Meridian Biosciences ( VIVO - Get Report) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Friday, rising 8% after the company priced 3.3 million shares of stock. The company is selling 1.8 million shares while the family trust of William J. Motto, the company's chief executive, is selling the rest. Meridian will receive just under $30 million in net proceeds from the offering. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. The stock sale is expected to close on Sept. 21. Shares were recently trading up $1.39 to $19.09. Syneron Medical ( ELOS) rose 4% after the company said that American Laser Centers would purchase $6 million worth of Syneron equipment for use in its centers throughout the U.S. "ALC, with more than 100 physician-supervised locations in the U.S., evaluated the VelaSmooth, and decided to expand the activity of its clinics from hair removal and skin rejuvenation also to include cellulite treatment," Syneron said. Shares were trading up $1.63 to $39.10. Shares of Geron ( GERN - Get Report) rose 2% after the company priced 6 million shares of stock at $9 apiece. The price represents a 10% discount to Thursday's closing price of $9.99. Concurrent with the stock offering, which is expected to close on Sept. 21, Merck ( MRK - Get Report) will exercise a warrant to buy $18 million in Geron stock. Merck will pay $9 a share for each share it buys. Geron plans to use the proceeds to fund research and development, including clinical trials, and general corporate purposes. Shares were trading up 19 cents to $10.18. Hologic ( HOLX - Get Report) rose 13% after the New England Journal of Medicine published a report saying that digital mammograms are better at detecting breast cancer than traditional film mammograms in certain populations. While the diagnostic accuracy of digital and film mammography was similar in the fully verified group, the Journal said, "The performance of digital mammography was, however, significantly better than that of film mammography among women under the age of 50 years, as compared with those who were at least 50 years of age." The Journal of Medicine also said that digital mammography was better for women classified by the readers as having heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts and premenopausal or perimenopausal women.
Hologic, commenting on the study, said "The most promising finding involved a subcategory of women incuding women under 50, women with dense breasts and premenopausal or perimenopausal women, which represented 65% of the study population, digital mammography had statistically greater diagnostic accuracy than film-based systems." Hologic, which develops digital imaging technology for general radiography and mammography applications, said the findings "will further promote the use of digital mammography and help provide women with more options for high quality breast imaging." Shares of Hologic were recently trading up $6.13 to $53.05. Other health care volume movers included Pfizer ( PFE), up 9 cents to $25.79; Advancis Pharma ( AVNC), up 13 cents to $2.18; Amgen ( AMGN), unchanged at $83.58; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), up 34 cents to $64.71; Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), up 29 cents to $24.89; Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 9 cents to $21.03; and UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 17 cents to $53.57.