Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) greeted the weekend higher on earnings, while regulatory decrees set other health stocks back. Intuitive Surgical, which makes da Vinci surgical systems for use in urologic, cardiothoracic, gynecologic and general surgeries, gained $45.58, or 32%, to $199.67, after
announcing strong earnings and upping guidance. GPC Biotech ( GPCB), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ( SPPI) and Pharmion ( PHRM) took hits Friday after the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee released a brief that preempted a regulatory meeting Monday. Among other things, the brief questioned whether the Food and Drug Administration should wait to make a decision on chemotherapy treatment satraplatin until data from a late-stage study is available, which likely won't happen until the year. GPC lost $11.24, or 35%, to $20.56; Spectrum, which licensed the drug to GPC and has the option to co-promote it in the U.S. fell $2.03, or 29%, to $4.88, while Pharmion, which has exclusive European rights to the drug, lost $1.78, or 6.6%, to $25.32. Also, Biogen ( BIIB) and Elan ( ELN) suffered a decision by European regulators to reject Tysabri as a Crohn's disease treatment based on the risk profile. In the U.S., Tysabri for moderate to severe Crohn's goes before a panel of medical advisers to the Food and Drug Administration on July 31. Elan lost 70 cents, or 3.3%, to $20.49, while Biogen edged down 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $54.70. Biogen is part of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 9.39, or 1.1%, to 814.75.
Gilead ( GILD) lagged a bit Friday after reporting fairly strong earnings Thursday, supported by its HIV franchise. The company's Atripla fell short of analysts' sales expectations, but Truvada beat the consensus. Gilead is in discussions with European regulators about how combination drug Atripla should be administered, which could result in a delay for the drug's approval there. Shares were behind $1.50, or 3.8%, at $38.91.