Regulatory reviews rocked health stocks, such as Wyeth ( WYE), in both directions, while earnings gave others a nudge on Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration
asked for more information on Wyeth's prospective menopause-symptoms treatment Pristiq -- specifically, the drug's potential risks of liver and cardiovascular side effects, according to the company. It pushed the stock down $4.36, or 7.8%, to $51.64. On the other hand, the FDA granted Neurochem's ( NRMX) investigational Alzheimer's treatment candidate tramiprosate Fast Track status, which expedites the review of drugs that treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that address an unmet medical need for a condition. Neurochem is meeting with the FDA in August to discuss tramiprosate's phase III program. The company's stock climbed 34 cents, or 5.8%, to $6.22. Also, the FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted to recommend approval for Eli Lilly's ( LLY) osteoporosis drug evista for a new use to reduce invasive breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and postmenopausal women at a high risk for breast cancer. The recommendation, however, is nonbinding. The company reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, and upped its guidance for the year. Eli Lilly rose $1.46, or 2.5%, to $58.58. It's a component of the Amex Biopharmaceutical index, which was down 3.76, or 1.1%, to 350.10. Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX) said Tuesday that a phase IIb trial for obesity drug candidate Empatic met its primary endpoint. The company said the trial demonstrated statistically significant weight loss against the placebo and was safe and well tolerated. Shares of Orexigen initially climbed but were recently down 0.5% at $14.15.