Updated from 2:19 p.m. EDTGains from intercompany deals balanced out losses brought about by analyst predictions, and health stocks set off on a slightly good note Wednesday. First, for those who browsed Yahoo! Finance this morning: No, Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA) didn't burst 80% and Neurochem ( NRMX) wasn't really trading at minus-$12. Although such action would've resulted in a much more dramatic Winners & Losers column, the glitch appears to be fixed now. Oculus Innovative Sciences ( OCLS) did trade actively after the medical-instruments company announced a 10-year licensing agreement with the Drug Enhancement Company of America for the rights to Oculus' first-response pen-like applicator for cuts, minor burns and skin irritations, Microcyn Technology. The agreement, which gives DECA an exclusive worldwide license on the technology, may also provide Oculus payments of up to $47.5 million, according to the company. After rising more than 9% earlier in the day, Oculus closed down 1.1%, or 8 cents, to $7.16. American Oriental Bioengineering ( AOB) signed a letter of intent to acquire Changchun Xinan Pharmaceutical Group, a fellow China-based company. American Oriental Bioengineering has 90 days to enter a definitive agreement and close the transaction according to the letter of intent. It anticipates an all-cash deal not exceeding $30 million. American Oriental Bioengineering's shares rose 27 cents, or 2.9%, to $9.71. Elsewhere, LifeCell ( LIFC) said Wednesday that it received 510(k), or premarket notification, clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Strattice tissue matrix. The product is for soft tissue repair, including breast reconstruction and hernia repair. LifeCell gained $1.70, or 6% to $29.99. LifeCell is a component of the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which was up 9.59, or 1.2%, to 818.48.
Less fortunate midweek was La Jolla Pharmaceutical's ( LJPC), whose shares dropped Wednesday morning after Lazard analyst Terence Flynn initiated coverage with a sell rating, a $1 price target and a prediction that the late-stage trial for the company's lupus-treatment candidate will not succeed. "We anticipate that results from the ongoing phase III lupus nephritis trial of Riquent will mirror those of earlier phase II/III trials and fail to meet the primary endpoint of time to renal flare," Flynn said in a report. La Jolla slid 47 cents, or 9%, to $4.74. Meanwhile,
volatility in Idenix ( IDIX) continued as the stock fell 18 cents, or 2.7%, to $6.52. After two analysts downgraded the stock on Tuesday, Maxim Group changed its rating for the stock to hold from buy on Wednesday. Also, biopharmaceutical company Telik ( TELK) fell 26 cents, or 7%. TheStreet.com reported Wednesday that the FDA launched an inquiry into a recent ovarian cancer trial.