Bayer's ( BAY) shares rose following an announcement that the company and its partner Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX) received fast-track designation from the Food and Drug Administration for the drug Nexavar for treating skin cancer.

Nexavar is already approved to treat advanced kidney cancer. Bayer's shares were up 1.7% to $47.63, but Onyx was falling 1.5% to $15.49.

West Pharmaceuticals ( WST), a maker of drug-delivery devices, preannounced positive second-quarter earnings after the market closed Wednesday, sending its shares 5.7% higher to $37.06.

The company says it expects to report earnings of between 60 cents and 62 cents a share Aug. 3, compared with 38 cents a year ago. West also raised its full-year guidance to $1.82 to $1.88 a share, up from its previous estimate of between $1.68 and $1.78 a share. Sales are forecast at roughly $880 million to $900 million.

Baxter International's ( BAX) shares jumped 6.2% to $40.96 after the company raised its guidance for the full year.

While the company earned 47 cents a share in the second quarter vs. 51 cents a year ago, it brought in sales of $2.6 billion, up 3% from last year. For the full year, Baxter expects to see sales growth of around 6% and earnings of between $2.21 and $2.25, excluding certain charges, compared with the company's previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.16.

Endo Pharmaceuticals' ( ENDP) shares fell 2.5% to $30.64 despite a positive earnings report Thursday morning. The maker of painkilling drugs reported earnings of 43 cents a share compared with 37 cents last year and reaffirmed its full-year EPS guidance of $1.55 to $1.60.

The company expects net sales of between $880 million and $910 million with $530 million to $540 million coming from sales of Lidoderm, a topical painkiller for patients with shingles, and $50 million to $60 million from sales of its generic version of the painkiller OxyContin.

Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals ( CBST) declined 2.6% to $22.70, despite positive news coming out of its earnings report. The company said its revenue rose 69% to $47.8 million, leading to a narrower loss in the second quarter of 9 cents a share compared with a loss of 15 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding one-time charges, as well as 5 cents a share in stock-based compensation expenses, the company earned 6 cents a share.

HIV drugmaker Gilead Sciences' ( GILD) shares dipped following an announcement after the close of trading Wednesday that the company will exercise its option to buy Corus Pharma, a maker of infectious-disease treatments, for $365 million. Gilead, which is already the second-largest shareholder after investing $25 million in the company earlier this year, expects to close the deal in the third quarter. Gilead shares were 4.2% lower to $58.65.

IMS Health's ( RX) shares fell after the company reported quarterly earnings of 30 cents a share vs. 41 cents a year ago. Second-quarter revenue was up 12%, however, to $486.2 million, and the company boosted full-year guidance to between $1.47 and $1.53 from $1.45 to $1.51, excluding stock-based compensation expenses. Shares of IMS, a provider of information to the health care industry, were down 1.6% to $26.58.

Shares of WebMD Health ( WBMD) were lately lower following news that the medical-information provider plans to expand its business through an acquisition of the education and physician recruitment businesses of Medsite for $41 million in cash. The deal should close in the third quarter. Shares fell 0.7% to $40.41.