Novogen's ( NVGN) shares rose after the company reported study results showing that its experimental drug phenoxodiol targets a protein in the body that is linked to prostate cancer. By binding to the protein, the company says, the drug can stop cancer cell division. Shares gained 2.1% to $10.79. SciClone Pharmaceuticals ( SCLN) presented positive clinical data, sending its shares 4% higher to $2.35. The company's Zadaxin cancer treatment doubled the effectiveness of chemotherapy on tumors in patients with the most advanced form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma. Swiss biotech Serono ( SRA) says it plans to pursue a long-acting inhalable treatment for infertility in partnership with Syntonix Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $54 million. Shares of Serono were up 4.2% to $18.35. Curis ( CRIS) jumped 7% to $1.68 after the company announced new additions to its scientific advisory board. Curis hired cancer specialists Dr. Stuart Aaronson of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, Dr. Kenneth J. Pienta of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dr. George Vande Woude of the Van Andel Research Institute and formerly the National Cancer Institute. Nektar Therapeutics' ( NKTR) shares fell despite an announcement that it received orphan drug designation from the European Commission for its Amphotericin B Inhalation Powder to prevent fungal infections. The designation, granted for drugs that prevent or treat rare, serious or life-threatening diseases, allows 10 years of potential market exclusivity if the drug is approved, as well as reduced regulatory fees. Shares were down 2.8% to $14.39.
Other movers included Bayer ( BAY), down 0.8% to $49.23, Usana Health Sciences ( USNA), falling 3.7% to $43.83, Encysive Pharmaceuticals ( ENCY), 4.8% lower to $4.41, Exact Sciences ( EXAS), 3.1% lower to $2.84, and Genzyme ( GENZ), whose shares dipped 1.5% to $67.80. Cephalon ( CEPH) gained 2.7% to $57.18, Celgene ( CELG)was up 1.6% to $41.82, CuraGen ( CRGN) was 4.2% higher to $3.47, and NBTY ( NTY) was up 2.3% to $28.02.