The option expires in a year, when another party buys at least one-quarter of the project, or when Merhav gets third-party debt financing for it -- whichever occurs first. Ampal shares were climbing 5.9% to $7.78 in fairly light trading. Immtech Pharmaceuticals' ( IMM) stock took a beating Wednesday after the company announced the Food and Drug Administration put a clinical hold on its development program for pafuramidine, an experimental treatment in late-stage studies for Pneumocystis pneumonia and African sleeping sickness. The company said preliminary findings from a safety study revealed abnormal laboratory values in several volunteers following treatment with the drug, and patients are now being closely monitored for liver function. Shares fell $2.90, or 49.6%, to $2.95. Meanwhile, biopharmaceutical company NeurogesX ( NGSX) said Wednesday that on Sunday it entered into a securities purchase agreement to privately place more than 4 million shares of common stock at $6.18 a share and five-year warrants to purchase 1.2 million shares at $8.03 for 12.5 cents a piece for proceeds of roughly $25 million. NeurogesX shares edged up 13 cents, or 2.2%, at $6.17.