Shares of biotech Iomai ( IOMI) soared nearly 25.3% to $6.39 after the company said it will receive a contract from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a patch to improve the efficacy of small amounts of flu vaccine, to help cover more individuals in the event of a pandemic.

The company could receive research costs plus a fix fee totaling $128 million. The department has already allotted $14.5 million to cover performance under the contract through March 31, 2008, Iomai says.

Shares of drug developer Xoma ( XOMA) jumped 6.4% to $2.50 after the company said it's expanding its collaboration with Schering-Plough ( SGP) in the development of antibodies to treat cancer and immune diseases.

Shares of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals ( ANPI) gained 5% to $9.03 after a Dutch court ruled in favor of the company and partner Boston Scientific ( BSX) in a patent dispute with Conor Medsystems ( CONR).

Shire's ( SHPGY) shares were up 1.4% to $64.45 after the pharmaceuticals company said it received regulatory approval for its ulcerative colitis drug Lialda.

Shares of Neurocrine Biosciences ( NBIX) gained 5% to $12.33 after the stock was upgraded to overweight from equal weight by Lehman Brothers health care analyst Jim Birchenough.

Among other health stock winners Wednesday were GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), up 1.3% to $55.23; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), 1% higher to $67.22; Abbott ( ABT), rising 1.4% to $51.32; Wyeth ( WYE) up 1.4% to $51.17; Novogen ( NVGN), gaining 4.5% to $12.10; and Geron ( GERN) growing 3.7% to $8.97.

Among the losers were Novavax ( NVAX), whose shares dropped 4% to $4.32; ISIS Pharmaceuticals ( ISIS), sinking 8.4% to $11.06; Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP), down 4.3% to $12.40; and GPC Biotech ( GPCB), falling 5.5% to $29.53.

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