Health stocks were largely stagnant midweek, with light news in the sector and a few positive analyst reports.

Baxter International ( BAX - Get Report) inched higher after the drugmaker's board approved a $2 billion stock buyback. The new repurchase plan will be executed when the company's existing $2 billion program is completed. Baxter said it has $700 million in stock authorized under that program.

Separately, the Food and Drug Administration identified the contaminant that led to the recall of Baxter's blood thinner heparin earlier this year. The agency said the contaminant is a heparin-like chemical compound called oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. It's a chemically altered version of chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement typically made from animal cartilage.

Baxter's shares added 69 cents to $58.18.

Among analyst moves, Citi Investment Research analyst Yaron Werber upgraded ImClone ( IMCL) to buy from hold, seeing significant demand for the company's Erbitux drug in lung cancer. He expects data will show the drug, which would compete with Genentech's Avastin, to be effective enough for doctors, if not for investors. ImClone shares edged up 39 cents, or 0.9%, to $43.49.

Elsewhere, Piper Jaffray analyst Thomas Wei said in a note to investors that recent studies suggest Amylin's long-acting form of diabetes treatment Byetta is as safe as the version already approved. He reiterated his belief that the long-acting version, Byetta LAR, will be more efficacious than the current options. Wei has a buy rating on the stock, which rose 98 cents, or 3.8%, to $26.89.

Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Aaron Reames reiterated an outperform rating with a price target of $43 to $48 for BioMarin ( BMRN - Get Report), noting the uptake of Kuvan, a treatment for phenylketonuria, an inherited metabolic disease. Among other things, the analyst noted that Kuvan has been added to the approved drug list for several large insurers.

Meanwhile, Jefferies & Co. analyst Salveen Kochnover reaffirmed a buy rating for BioMarin with a $45 price target. BioMarin shares rose 72 cents, or 2.2%, to $33.95.

ImClone, Amylin and BioMarin are all components of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 1.03, or 0.14%, at 739.05.

Another component of the index, Genzyme said Wednesday that it withdrew the European application to extend the Evoltra product label to include the treatment of elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The decision was based on the EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use's assessment that the data from the BIOV121 study are not sufficient to support a recommendation for approval.

The company noted in a release that the EMEA's negative recommendation was expected, and that it is discussing the requirements for approval. Genzyme plans to develop and submit a new filing with data from one or more ongoing studies as early as the fourth quarter of 2008, the company said.

Shares were trading down 28 cents, or 0.4%, at $70.68 on lighter-than-average volume.

Last, InterMune's ( ITMN) former CEO W. Scott Harkonen was indicted Tuesday for falsely promoting Actimmune, a drug for fatal lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In 2006, InterMune agreed to pay nearly $37 million to resolve related criminal and civil charges. Harkonen was chief executive at InterMune from 1998 to 2003.

"Today's government action does not affect the Company's settlement in any way," InterMune said in a press release statement Tuesday post market close. The company's shares edged down 7 cents, or 0.7%, to $12.29.