Shares of CytRx ( CYTR) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Monday, rising 15% after the biopharmaceutical company's Arimoclomol drug received fast-track status from the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, which had already received orphan drug status in May 2005, will be used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Last week, the company announced the initiation of a phase II trial of the drug. Patient identification is under way at several clinical trial sites, the company said. "We are delighted that the FDA has permitted us to begin this important clinical trial, and the fast track designation constitutes yet another significant milestone in our effort to help those suffering from this deadly neurodegenerative disease for which there is no effective treatment," the company said. Shares were trading up 13 cents to $1.01. Analogic ( ALOG) rose 5% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street forecasts. The company earned $4.3 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $102 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 25 cents a share. A year ago the company earned $3.9 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $102.2 million. In addition to turning in earnings results, the company said that deficiencies in the controls and procedures related to software recognition at its Camtronics subsidiary continued to constitute a material weakness. "As a result of this material weakness at Camtronics, management has concluded that the company's internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of July 31, 2005, and expects that the company's independent registered public accounting firm will reach the same conclusion in its audit report on the company's internal control over financial reporting," Analogic said. The company said that it would continue to work on the deficiencies and remains confident that it will be able to resolve the issues by the end of fiscal 2006. Shares were trading up $2.29 to $50.80.
Triad Hospitals ( TRI - Get Report) fell modestly after the company said that Hurricane Rita had just a minimal impact on its hospitals. The company said it is assessing the damage but believes that any damage will be covered by the company's property and business interruption insurance. Shares were trading down 10 cents to $46.08. PainCare Holdings ( PRZ) rose 5% after the company said it would acquire Pain Management ASC for $15 million in cash and stock. Pain Management, which owns and operates four ambulatory surgery centers in Maryland, is expected to contribute more than $4.5 million in sales and about $3 million in operating income to PainCare for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006. Shares of PainCare Holdings were trading up 18 cents to $4.03. Shares of QLT ( QLTI) traded actively after the company announced the immediate resignation of Paul Hastings. Hastings, who served as president and chief executive, resigned because of differences he had with the board of directors. "While there were some differences with the board regarding the vision of the company, I continue to strongly believe in the people, products and projects of QLT and I am honored to have been a part of it," Hastings said. Robert Butchofsky, senior vice president of marketing and sales, will serve as acting CEO until a permanent replacement is found. QLT said that Butchofsky would be a candidate for the permanent CEO position. Shares were trading up 23 cents to $7.19. Other health care volume movers included Pfizer ( PFE), up 14 cents to $25.01; Genentech ( DNA), down $3.51 to $82.32; Abbott Labs ( ABT), down $1.69 to $42.53; Amgen ( AMGN), down $1.88 to $81.41; Eyetech Pharmaceuticals ( EYET), down 40 cents to $17.40; Merck ( MRK), up 4 cents to $27.66; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 16 cents to $55.16; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), down 6 cents to $63.93; Boston Scientific ( BSX), down 67 cents to $23.69; Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), down 5 cents to $24.15; Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 38 cents to $20.63.