Telik ( TELK) suffered a 71% freefall after the California-based biotech announced two disappointing late-stage clinical studies of its experimental cancer drug Telcyta. The trials, which compared the drug to existing therapies in advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer and ovarian cancer, both failed to meet their primary endpoints of statistically significant improvement in overall survival. Shares were plunging $11.48 to $4.78. Tecumseh Products ( TECUA) jumped on an upgrade by a Robert W. Baird analyst to neutral from underperform. Shares of the Michigan-based compressor-products maker were up $1.99, or 12%, to $18.54. EpiCept ( EPCT) gained after the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based pharmaceutical company said it will license the rights to its back-pain treatment, a transdermal patch containing bupivacaine, for up to $1.9 million to Durect ( DRRX). The licensee, a drugmaker based in Cupertino, Calif., will pay Epicept $1 million up front and an additional $9 million in milestone payments, plus royalties on future sales. EpiCept shares were up 13 cents, or 9.4%, to $1.52. Durect shares were slipping 4 cents, or 0.9%, to $4.45. Adventrx Pharmaceuticals ( ANX) shares swelled on news that the Food and Drug Administration had approved clinical testing of its proposed cancer drug ANX-530, deeming it to be bioequivalent to Navelbine, an existing cancer treatment approved for use in nonsmall-cell lung cancer. The San Diego company expects patient recruitment for the initial study to begin in January. Shares were gaining 13 cents, or 4.9%, to $2.77.
New York-based CPAC ( CPAK) rose after the cleaning-product maker announced it would be bought by privately held Buckingham Capital Partners for $8.65 a share, or about $42.8 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2007. Shares were up 61 cents, or 7.8%, to $8.46. Outsourcer Ness Technologies ( NSTC) fell on news that Raviv Zoller, who has been president and chief executive of the Israeli company since mid-2001, will step down at the end of the first quarter in 2007. Sachi Gerlitz, formerly a partner with global private-equity firm Apax Partners, will take his place by Jan. 10. Shares were down 61 cents, or 4.2%, to $14.03.