Updated from 2:02 p.m. EDTTakeover talk bolstered Bradley Pharmaceuticals ( BDY), but health-care stocks were flat headed into the weekend. Bradley rose $1.33, or 7.2%, to close at $19.87, after announcing Friday that it received an unspecified number of preliminary bids for the sale of the company. The company previously announced that it had hired Deutsche Bank as an advisor to help consider strategic alternatives. Also up, Teva Pharmaceuticals ( TEVA) said that the FDA granted the company approval of its abbreviated new drug application to market the generic version of Novartis' ( NVS) Famvir treatment for genital herpes. Teva has been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity. Branded Famvir had annual sales of about $200 million in the U.S. for the 12 months ended June 30, according to the company. Teva closed up 91 cents, or 2.2%, to $41.76. Novartis closed up 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $52.74. Teva is a component of the Amex Pharmaceutical Index, which was up 2.91 points, or 0.9%, to 339.03 on Friday. Elsewhere, ImClone Systems ( IMCL) said it opened enrollment for a phase II study on its candidate for advanced kidney cancer. It expects to enroll 36 patients whose disease has progressed during standard therapy or who have developed intolerance to those treatments. The study will evaluate the safety, efficacy and pharmacology of the drug. However, the enrollment didn't help ImClone, which closed down 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $32.17.
Also on the falling end, Cortex Pharmaceuticals ( COR) said Friday that it will sell 7.1 million shares of its common stock to several institutional investors for an aggregate $14.2 million. The transaction includes warrants to purchase about 2.83 million shares of common stock at $2.64 a share. The offer is expected to close on Aug. 29. Cortex said it will use the proceeds to accelerate development of its Ampakine technology -- designed to strengthen signals at connections between brain cells -- as well as licensing activities, working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes. Shares of Cortex tumbled 74 cents, or 28%, to $1.90. Matrix Research upgraded Barr Pharmaceuticals ( BRL) to buy from hold, and Jeffries and Co. upgraded Advanced Medical Optics ( EYE) to hold from underperform. Barr closed up 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.14, while American Medical Optics added $1.45, or 5.1%, to close at $30.15. On the credit rating side, Standard & Poor's reaffirmed its outlook for Boston Scientific ( BSX), which yesterday announced it amended its credit line and prepaid down
$1 billion in debt. Analyst Cheryl Richer said in a report that S&P's ratings on Boston Scientific, including the BB+ corporate credit rating, remain on CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed Aug. 3. The agency will watch as Boston Scientific reveals more about its revised business and financial strategy this fall. "Although the company still plans to sell nonstrategic assets, divest elements of its investment portfolio, and reduce expenses and headcount, continued debt reduction will proceed at a slower pace than previously anticipated given the decision to retain full ownership of its endosurgery group," S&P said in the report. Boston Scientific closed down 2 cents, or 0.2%, to $12.69.