Shares of Epix Pharmaceuticals ( EPIX) were among health care stocks' losers Friday, plummeting 15.6% on disappointing study results of its experimental anxiety drug. In phase III trials, the drug, dubbed PRX-00023, did not show a significant improvement in symptoms when compared with a placebo, the study's main goal. A secondary goal was to show improvement in a certain measure of anxiety, which the company says the data trended toward but results were impacted by a higher-than-expected response in patients receiving a placebo. Shares sank 83 cents to $4.48 in recent trading. Scolr Pharma's ( DDD) shares jumped 4.5% following an announcement that the company has entered a research collaboration with an unnamed U.S. company to develop its proposed flu drug. The antiviral drug, administered orally, will use Scolr's CDT drug delivery technology. If successful, the companies could enter a licensing agreement to market the drug. Shares were recently trading up 11 cents, or 2%, to $5.47. Gene Logic ( GLGC) shares were up 5.2% after the company completed a review of its businesses. Based on findings from the 90-day review, the company says its so-called drug repositioning group has the capacity to significantly enhance long-term shareholder value. Through a number of agreements with large pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer ( PFE) and Roche, Gene Logic picks up drugs that have stalled in mid-stage clinical trials and returns them to development. Gene Logic shares were up 8 cents to $1.61 in recent trading.
Boston Scientific's ( BSX)
profit warning after the close Thursday pushed heart device makers lower as a group early Friday. According to the company, the market for heart-rhythm devices has contracted and growth in sales of its drug-eluting stents, devices used to prop open arteries cleared of plaque, were lower during the quarter. Boston's shares were recently trading lower by $1.63, or 9.8%, at $14.75. Among other heart-rhythm device makers, Medtronic ( MDT) fell 1.6% to $46.46 and St. Jude Medical ( STJ) fell 3.2% to $34.45. Also sinking Friday were Angiotech Pharmaceuticals ( ANPI), whose shares dropped 10.3% to $9.39; Integrated Biopharma ( INB), 4.6% lower to $7.20; CV Therapeutics ( CVTX), down 3.3% to $10.15; and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ( SPPI), off by 2.5% to $3.51. Moving higher Friday were shares of Shire ( SHPGY), up 2.4% to $47.48; Dyax ( DYAX), gaining 16.7% to $3.35; and Novogen ( NVGN), 3.4% higher to $10.46.