Health indices were boosted by an array of positive clinical trial news to start the holiday-shortened week Tuesday. InterMune ( ITMN) gained after announcing the Food and Drug Administration approved its amended clinical trial authorization (CTA) for ITMN-191, an orally available hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor that it's developing with Roche. InterMune said in May that it would amend the CTA to take into consideration new information from a phase Ia study that was completed that month. The company expects to begin the phase Ib study this month and to announce initial top-line results in the first quarter of 2008. The stock rose $2.06, or 10.4%, to $21.83, helping to support the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which added 16.4, or 2.4%, to 830.1. Also winning Tuesday, NeurogesX ( NGSX) announced
positive top-line results from a phase III trial of NGX-4010, its dermal patch for patients with postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, a neuropathic-pain condition. Shares climbed $1.16, or 16.3%, to $8.27. In addition, Clinical Data ( CLDA) announced positive results from a phase III study of antidepressant Vilazodone that also identified potential genetic markers for patient response to the drug. Shares rose 77 cents, or 3%, to $26.77. Sciele Pharma ( SCRX) said the FDA accepted its supplemental new-drug application for new dose formulations of hypertension treatment Sular for review with the goal-completion date of Nov. 2.