Health indices closed out the week fairly flat as some stocks benefitted from analyst actions, while others fell because of trial results and lawsuits.Cadence Pharmaceuticals ( CADX) said Friday that in a pivotal late-stage trial its IV-administered Acetavance for pain and fever didn't meet a primary endpoint. Shares plunged $8.43, or 60.3%, to $5.59 after the company said that in a late stage study its Acetavance for post-operative pain and fever didn't demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in patients' pain over 48 hours compared to placebo after abdominal gynecologic surgery. Acetavance did reduce fever in a separate, smaller study, and was safe and well-tolerated in both studies, according to the company. The stock tugged at the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 2.99, or 0.35%, at 854.56. Also falling, CryoLife ( CRY)said it faces a $110 million lawsuit from a patient who had an infection following a Meniscal allograft, a transplant used for patients who have significantly damaged knees. The Kennesaw, Ga.-based company, which has been sued successfully on similar allegations in the past, called the allegations inaccurate. Shares were down $1.43, or 15.3%, to $7.90. In the other direction: Usana Health Sciences ( USNA) said Friday that the SEC has ended a probe and won't seek legal action. The SEC began investigating allegations of fraud and concerns about the company's marketing model in March. Shares rose $8.75, or 24.6%, to $44.32.
Other biotech stocks moved on analyst actions. Jeffries analyst Peter Bye upgraded American Medical Optics ( EYE) to buy from hold, noting that the current price includes the major risks and that shares aren't trading on an earnings forecast. The analyst said a pullback in the stock since the company recalled its Complete MoisturePlus eye care solution provides an attractive entry point. Shares were trading up 65 cents, or 3%, at $21.75. Also, Susquehanna Financials upgraded Idenix ( IDIX) to positive from neutral. The stock was up just 7 cents, or 1.7% on Friday, but it was a winner for the week in general. Idenix was trading at $4.15 Friday afternoon -- a $1.43 rise (52%) from Monday's open at $2.72. The company, which makes drugs for Hepatitis C and HIV, presented at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Monday, noting that it expects to end fiscal 2007 with between $100 million and $110 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. And Illumina ( ILMN)> garnered upgrades from UBS, Lehman Brothers and GARP Research a day after it announced the resolution of patent litigation with Affymetrix ( AFFX). The company will pay Affymetrix $90 million, but Affymetrix has agreed not to sue Illumina over other current products and those based on future technology for four years. Illumina's shares rose then slunk back, trading at more than twice the average volume, ending the afternoon up just 32 cents, or 0.46%, at 70.32, while Affymetrix was trading down just 16 cents, or 0.7%, to $22.47 on slightly below-average volume.