Updated from 2:16 p.m. EDTHealth stocks flagged and analysts adjusted their ratings and target prices for companies such as Forest Laboratories ( FRX) on Thursday. Prudential changed its price target for Forest from $58 to $60, while RBC Capital Markets changed its price target from $55 to $56. Despite the raised targets, the stock closed down 56 cents, or 1.1%, to $52.44. NitroMed ( NTMD) slumped 65 cents, or 19.9%, to $2.62 after the company announced that it agreed to sell around 7.6 million shares of common stock to selected institutional investors at $2.60 a share. It will use the proceeds, nearly $18.3 million, for corporate purposes surrounding its product BiDil, which is used to treat heart failure in addition to standard therapy in self-identified black patients, as well as for the development of an extended-release rendition of the drug, BiDil XR. BioMarin Pharmaceutical ( BMRN) was also down 28 cents, or 1.5%, to $18.11, after the company announced it submitted a new-drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Kuvan for the treatment of the genetic disorder phenylketonuria. According to BioMarin, Merck Serono, its partner in development, intends to file a marketing authorization application for Kuvan with the European Medicines Agency in the third quarter of this year. The Nasdaq Bioptechnology Index, which includes Nitromed and BioMarin, was down 11.16, or 1.3%, to 823.63.
Among those stocks receiving downgrades were Allergan ( AGN) and Vion Pharmaceutical ( VION). Matrix research changed its rating for Allergan from hold to sell. Allergan's stock, however, was up $1.36, or 1.1%, to $123.16. Rodman & Renshaw downgraded Vion from market outperform to market perform, and Fortis Bank changed its price target for the company from $4 to $2.25. Despite the downgrades, shares of the company were up 4 cents, or 4.7%, to 90 cents. Also, Lehman changed its price target for Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) from $33 to $35; HSBC changed its price target for Wyeth ( WYE) from $62.50 to $65.50. Bristol-Myers was up 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $30.03, and Wyeth was down 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $58.17. Additional stocks that on the downside include Geron ( GERN), which was down 42 cents, or 4.5%, to $8.90; Illumina ( ILMN), which was down 64 cents, or 1.9%, to $32.69; and Discovery Labs ( DSCO), which was down 8 cents, or 2.3%, to $3.47.