Health care stocks were up slightly Wednesday following successful drug studies, announced stock offerings and mixed earnings. Advanced Life Sciences Holdings ( ADLS) announced that its respiratory antibiotic, Cethromycin, was shown to be effective in preventing inhalation anthrax infection in a 30-day study involving 30 primates. Shares rose 27 cents, or 7.9%, to $3.67. Positive study results also sent Nabi Biopharmaceuticals ( NABI) soaring 90 cents, or 17%, to $6.03. The company said a significant number of patients in its phase IIb study for NicVax, a vaccine to treat nicotine addiction, met the primary endpoint of eight weeks of continuous abstinence. Nabi is also set to release first-quarter financial results by end-of-day Wednesday. Planned stock offerings also moved the market Wednesday. Immunomedics ( IMMU) announced it will sell just over 4.8 million shares of common stock to institutional investors for about $24 million, or $4.95 a share. The stock closed at $5.35 Tuesday. The offering is set to close on or around May 7. Shares were up 4 cents, or 0.8%, to $5.39. Array BioPharma's ( ARRY) offer to sell 7 million shares for $13 a share did not have the same impact on investors. The company's stock price fell 53 cents, or 3.9%, to $13. The Array BioPharma offering is also expected to close on or around May 7. A narrowed quarter-over-quarter loss helped make Pozen ( POZN) a winner Wednesday. The pain reduction drug developer reported a net loss of $2.1 million, or 7 cents a share for the first quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of $6.4 million, or 22 cents a share for the same quarter last year. The results were good enough to beat the Thomson Financial consensus of a loss of 9 cents a share. Shares hiked 80 cents, or 5.5%, to $15.30.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).