Shares of SGX Pharmaceuticals ( SGXP) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, climbing 18% after the biotech company announced a collaboration agreement with Novartis ( NVS).

The collaboration will focus on developing and commercializing so-called BCR-ABL inhibitors for the treatment of drug-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia. SGX will receive an upfront payment of $25 million, and Novartis agreed to buy SGX stock. In all, excluding royalties, the deal could be worth as much as $515 million to SGX. The company's shares of SGX recently were trading up $1.44 to $9.31.

Immunicon ( IMMC) jumped 11% after the company announced an expanded agreement with Pfizer ( PFE) to develop reagents that detect certain antigens on circulating tumor cells. The agreement, which was originally announced in early 2003, will now be amended to allow both companies to initiate new research studies "by adding new appendices duly signed by both parties to the agreement," Immunicon said. As such, Immunicon said that a new Phase I trial has been added, with enrollment to begin immediately. The company also added that, by working with companies such as Pfizer, it hopes "to establish CTCs as a standard biomarker in oncology drug development." Immunicon shares were trading up 39 cents to $4.

Shares of Cigna ( CI) rose slightly after the health insurer backed its 2006 earnings outlook. The company continues to see adjusted earnings from operations of $900 million to $960 million. The company also continues to project total membership growth of 1% to 2%. Cigna disclosed the information in a regulatory filing ahead of analyst and investor meetings Tuesday and Wednesday. Shares were up 3 cents to $132.64.

NMT Medical ( NMTI) rose modestly after the medical device company said it will receive $30 million from privately held AGA Medical as part of a patent dispute settlement. The suit, originally filed in March 1999, claimed that AGA built and distributed a device that violated a patent that NMT has an exclusive right to use. AGA will pay the $30 million in exchange for a nonexclusive sublicense to the disputed patent. NMT said that it plans to share the cash payment with the inventor of the device. Shares were trading up 7 cents to $16.92.

Other health care volume movers included Generex Biotechnology ( GNBT), up 19 cents to $3.15; Pfizer, down 25 cents to $25.56; Encysive Pharmaceuticals ( ENCY), up 22 cents to $4.82; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down 46 cents to $54.47; Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), up 10 cents to $25.21; Cephalon ( CEPH), down $1.12 to $60.14; Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 16 cents to $23.59; Novavax ( NVAX), up 2 cents to $7.54; Elan ( ELN), down 1 cent to $14.10; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), down 10 cents to $59.84; Amgen ( AMGN), up 57 cents to $73.67; Merck ( MRK), down 16 cents to $35.86; and Schering-Plough ( SGP), down 10 cents to $19.10.