A merger, an FDA holdup and management musical-chairs yanked health care stocks in different directions Monday, resulting in a flat day for the biotech and pharmaceutical indices. Women's health company Hologic ( HOLX) announced a $6.2 billion deal to buy Cytyc ( CYTC), which manufactures cervical cancer screening equipment. Hologic, which manufactures mammography and breast care products, expects to complete the transaction in the third calendar quarter of 2007. Hologic said the combined companies' annual revenues would be more than $1.7 billion, while adjusted earnings per share would be between $2.35 and $2.40. Hologic's shares fell $3.67, or 6.9%, to $53.94, while Cytyc's shares were up $7.80, or 22%, to $42.85. Point Therapeutics ( POTP), Cleveland BioLabs ( CBLI) and Nektar Therapeutics ( NKTR) were affected by differing study results. Point Therapeutics fell 30 cents, or 69%, to 14 cents, after the Food and Drug Administration placed the clinical program for talabostat on hold. The company recommended stopping two phase III studies as a potential treatment for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer because neither of two endpoints demonstrated improvement over the placebo groups. Cleveland BioLabs said a study for Protectan CBLB612 showed blood from healthy mice treated with the drug helped mice issued a normally lethal dose of radiation survive past the 60-day mark. The company said the experiment demonstrated effectiveness in stimulation and mobilization of stem cells. Shares rose 37 cents, or 3.4%, to $9.27.
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).