Shares of drug developer Progen Industries ( PGLA) jumped more than 160% after the company announced positive results on an experimental cancer drug. In clinical trials, patients who had cancerous tumors removed from their livers went 76% longer before tumor recurrence when given the drug, dubbed PI-88, compared with patients not on the treatment. Shares were up $4.75 to $7.70. Shares of cancer drug developer Celgene ( CELG) sank 2.7% to $55.99 after the company said that Barr Pharmaceuticals ( BRL) is looking to market thalidomide, a generic version of Celgene's blood cancer drug Thalomid. Barr intends to market its version as a treatment for a skin condition associated with leprosy, the first indication Celgene's branded version of the drug received. Thalomid was more recently approved to treat the blood cancer multiple myeloma, a condition with a much larger market than that of leprosy in the U.S. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) fell 1.5% to $38.80 after the company released results from an interim safety analysis of its hepatitis C drug telaprevir. While 9% of patients receiving the drug in clinical trials discontinued treatment due to side effects, 65 out of 74 patients had undetectable levels of the virus after treatment, Vertex says. The company received a $15 million milestone payment from its partner, Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) unit Janssen Pharmaceutica based on the trial results.
Shares of drugmaker Pozen ( POZN) sank after regulators said that further data must be submitted before the company's experimental migraine drug Trexima can be approved for marketing. Shares were down 15% to $15.40. Among other health care winners Wednesday were Bayer ( BAY), up 1.2% to $53.58; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY), gaining 2.9% to $17.28; Cubist Pharmaceuticals ( CBST), 1.6% higher to $18.32; Anadys Pharmaceuticals ( ANDS), up 7.3% to $4.56; and DepoMed ( DEPO), up 6.4% to $3.14. Among the losers were Genentech ( DNA), down 1.8% to $82.33; Biogen Idec ( BIIB), 1.5% lower to $49.96; Gilead Sciences ( GILD), falling 1.6% to $64.22; Dynavax Technologies ( DVAX), down 2.9% to $9.38; and Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories ( CPD), off 1.1% to $12.28.