Positive clinical data propped up a variety of health stocks as a new month and a new quarter started on Wall Street. The exception, Adventrx Pharmaceuticals ( ANX), caved Monday after the company announced that its experimental ANX-510 for metastatic colorectal cancer failed in a phase IIb study. Shares lost $1.95, or 76%, to 62 cents. Among the winners, Oncolytics ( ONCY) reported positive interim results of a U.K.-based phase Ia/Ib trial on a Reolysin and radiation combination for patients with advanced or metastatic cancers. The primary objective of the trial was to find the maximum tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicity and safety profile of Reolysin in patients receiving radiation treatment who've been diagnosed with advanced or metastatic solid tumors that haven't responded to standard therapy or for which no curative therapy exists. Shares gained 18 cents, or 9.5%, to $2.07. Abbott ( ABT) said a 12-week extension to a phase II study on ABT-874, an investigational treatment for psoriasis, showed the majority of the patients maintained a high level of response following the discontinuation of therapy. Abbott rose 84 cents, or 1.6%, to $54.46. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) climbed after the company and Bayer ( BAY) announced positive results from the full analysis of a phase II study on the VEGF Trap-Eye in wet age-related macular degeneration. The VEGF Trap-Eye met the study's primary endpoint of a statistically significant reduction in retinal thickness after 12 weeks compared to the baseline. The companies said there was also statistically significant improvement in visual acuity. Regeneron rose 55 cents, or 3.1%, to $18.35. The stock is a component of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was up 1.1% to 863.32.
Another winner, Discovery Laboratories ( DSCO), said a study showed batches of its respiratory distress syndrome drug candidate Surfaxin remained stable after a six-month period. The company will use that data along with other information in a formal response to an April 2006 approvable letter from the FDA regarding the drug's use for RDS in premature infants. The company said it will file its response in October. Discovery Laboratories gained 41 cents, or 15%, to $3.10. Meanwhile, Endo Pharmaceuticals ( ENDP) and Vernalis reported receiving a "not approvable" letter from the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend regarding a supplemental drug application for Frova for the short-term prevention of menstrual migraine. According to the companies, the FDA found deficiencies and asked for additional information regarding the 2.5mg tablets for the additional indication. Frova is already approved and marketed for the acute treatment of migraine, with or without aura, in adults where a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established. Shares fell 69 cents, or 2.2%, to $30.32. Elsewhere, General Electric's ( GE) GE Global Research and Eli Lilly ( LLY) entered into a three-year agreement to discover and develop in vitro diagnostics that could predict how cancer patients will respond to targeted therapies. GE will have access to clinical tissue samples from unidentified patients enrolled in Lilly's clinical trials. Also, Lilly will have access to GE's advanced technologies in automated tissue-based image analysis and molecular reagents, which the companies say will help Lilly identify patients for future trials and could greatly reduce the time and cost of cancer drug development. Lilly's shares rose 96 cents, or 1.7%, to $57.89, and GE edged up 44 cents, or 1.1%, to $41.83.