Cell Therapeutics ( CTIC) and Biogen Idec ( BIIB) struck a deal on a less-than-enchanting day for health stocks Thursday. Cell Therapeutics said it will acquire Zevalin, an FDA-approved radioimmunotherapy, from Biogen for $10 million in cash up front, up to $20 million more in milestone payments upon receiving approval for a first-line indication in NHL and royalties on sales. The FDA approved the drug in 2002 to treat patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Cell Therapeutics will develop and market Zevalin in the U.S. It is sold outside the U.S. by Bayer Schering under and agreement between Biogen and Bayer Schering. Cell Therapeutics agreed to share the cost of certain clinical trials that may be undertaken with Bayer Schering. "Acquiring Zevalin returns CTI to a select group of biotech companies who market and sell a commercial product in the United States. We see potential for substantial revenue growth for this product with additional clinical data and increased patient and physician knowledge about its potential in treating patients with NHL," said Cell Therapeutics CEO James Bianco. Cell Therapeutics was up just one cent, or 0.3%, at $3.48 at close. Biogen closed up 64 cents, or 1.1%, at $59.10. Covidien ( COV) said Thursday that enhancements are available to its MRidium MRI Infusion System, a non-magnetic IV infusion pump. The enhancements allow operators to administer intravenous medication more efficiently. Covidien traded down 79 cents, or 2%, at $37.26. Investors were disillusioned with falling revenue-and-earning projections from Amgen ( AMGN) on Thursday. The company responded Wednesday to pressures on chemotherapy-induced-anemia drug Aranesp's U.S. sales with a reconstruction plan that involved a 12% layoff. The stock gave up $1.41, or 2.8%, to 49.18. Amgen is a component of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 2.89, or 0.4%, to 784.36.
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).