Thursday's Health Winners & Losers

Drug distributor Par Pharmaceutical ( PRX) plummeted following an announcement after the market closed Wednesday that the company would restate its financial results back to 2004. The restatement will result in a reduction in revenue of up to $55 million. The stock fell $4.93, or 27%, to $13.32 Thursday.

The company attributed the restatement to delays in recognizing customer credits and an understatement of accounts receivable reserves. Since Par has profit-sharing arrangements with a number of partners, in some cases its revenue overstatement has resulted in overpayment. The company says it will attempt to recover a share of profits from products included in the overstated revenue, but says it can't estimate the amount it will be able to recover.

MedImmune ( MEDI) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to use reverse genetics technology to construct new strains of flu vaccines. MedImmune has already begun applying the technology to avian flu research in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, the company says.

Most flu-vaccine makers are already using reverse genetics technology to develop pandemic vaccine candidates because it allows them to avoid working directly with the infectious viruses, the company says. MedImmune, which owns the license to the technology, says it "remains committed to making sure that the technology is accessible to government institutions and industry manufacturers." MedImmune shares rose earlier, but lately were down 3 cents to $46.57.

Cancer-drug maker MGI Pharma ( MOGN) signed an agreement with Cilag GmbH, a Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) company, granting Cilag exclusive development and commercialization rights for the Dacogen injection outside of North America.

According to the agreement, Cilag may pay MGI more than $80 million to license the drug, including an upfront payment, potential milestones, and research and development costs. Shares of MGI were 4 cents lower at $21.41. MGI's Dacogen partner Supergen ( SUPG) rose 10.1% to $3.91.

Dacogen is an FDA-approved treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes, a type of bone-marrow cancer.

Shares of German drug giant Bayer ( BAY) fell 1.1% to $45.11 after the company said it would sell 34 million new shares to raise 1.2 billion euros, or about $1.5 billion, to help finance the purchase of Schering AG ( SHR).

Bayer is acquiring its fellow German drugmaker for more than $20 billion.

Irish drug concern Elan ( ELN) inked a deal granting Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), in partnership with AstraZeneca ( AZN), the U.S. rights to use its NanoCrystal technology.

The companies plan to use the technology to develop a combination pill containing the ingredients in the cholesterol-lowering drugs Tricor 145, an Abbott drug, and AstraZeneca's Crestor. Tricor belongs to a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called fibrates, while Crestor is known as a statin drug.

According to Elan, the combination of the two drugs would lower levels of triglycerides, a certain type of fat absorbed from food, and LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. At the same time, the combination would raise the body's levels of good cholesterol, or HDL.

Abbott shares were up 1% to $44.05, and AstraZeneca rose 1.4% to $59.74. Elan fell 1.3% to $16.15.

Wyeth ( WYE) and King Pharmaceuticals ( KG) have decided to restructure their co-promotion agreement for the heart drug Altace.

For the remainder of 2006, the Wyeth sales force will continue to promote the product with King, but effective Jan. 1 and through 2010, King will assume full responsibility for the sales and marketing of the drug, and Wyeth will receive a fee.

"King and Wyeth each reached the conclusion that the restructuring is mutually beneficial based upon a review of each company's long-term business strategies and objectives," Wyeth said in a press release. Wyeth shares gained 65 cents, or 1.5%, to $45.15, and King was up 30 cents, or 1.8%, to $17.25.

Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals ( SVNT) added 2.1% to 45.44 after the company said it appointed a new chief financial officer, Brian J. Hayden, effective immediately. Hayden was most recently CFO of Bone Care International and has more than 30 years of industry experience, the company says.

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