Shares of Praecis Pharmaceuticals ( PRCS) were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, plunging 33% after the company said it will halt plans to sell its prostate cancer drug Plenaxis. Praecis said it won't be able to reach a sale or license deal related to Plenaxis, and will discontinue all of its Plenaxis-related activities. "During this wind-down, the company will continue to evaluate potential opportunities for these assets to the extent such opportunities arise," the company said. The company expects to take charges totaling about $7.5 million during the second quarter related to the Plenaxis decision. While Praecis believes that its cash and investments will be sufficient to cover working capital and capital expenditure needs through 2007, the company plans to explore financing and strategic alternatives. Shares were trading down $1.71 to $3.44. Discovery Labs ( DSCO) soared 22% after the biotech company said it hired Jefferies & Co. to help explore strategic alternatives. The company said that seeking alternatives, is "intended to enhance the future growth potential of the company's surfactant replacement therapy pipeline and maximize shareholder value." Discovery Labs said it is exploring all of its options, including potential business alliances, commercial and development partnerships, financings, business combinations and other opportunities. "The management and board of directors continuously evaluate our business to identify and develop opportunities for maximizing value for all shareholders. We look forward to working with Jefferies in this regard," the company said. Shares were trading up 30 cents to $1.64. Shares of Corgentech ( CGTK) fell 3% after the drugmaker said it received a commitment for up to $30 million in equity financing from Azimuth Opportunity. During the next two years, Corgentech may sell registered shares of its stock to Azimuth at a small discount to market price, it said. "This equity commitment facility provides us with the flexibility to opportunistically raise additional capital over the next 24 months to pursue our business plan, including the potential product launch of 3268 next year," the company said. Shares were trading down 26 cents to $7.98.
Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI) rose 2% after the company said the U.S. Government will buy 20,000 doses of the company's anthrax treatment for $165 million. "We believe that ABthrax offers a significant step forward in the treatment of inhalational anthrax disease," the company said. The company expects to deliver the vaccine to the Strategic National Stockpile in 2008 as part of Project BioShield. Shares were up 18 cents to $9.98. Other health care volume movers included Pfizer ( PFE), down 17 cents to $22.89; Boston Scientific ( BSX), down 51 cents to $19.19; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), up 18 cents to $61.53; Amgen ( AMGN), down 54 cents to $65.21; Millennium Pharmaceuticals ( MLNM), unchanged at $9.97; Elan ( ELN), down 18 cents to $16.41; Merck ( MRK), up 44 cents to $34.90; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 39 cents to $43.89; and Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY - Get Report), up 14 cents to $25.56.