Health stocks traded heavily into negative territory along with the broader markets on a relatively quiet Friday for the sector. The Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices took gave up 1.8% and 1.8%, respectively, after registering gains a day earlier. One component of the Nasdaq index that bucked the trend, Inspire Pharmaceuticals ( ISPH) surged $1.39, or 36%, to $5.24 after the company said a late-stage trial of inhalation solution Denufosol, its prospective cystic fibrosis drug, met its primary goal. In business news, GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) said Friday that it completed its previously announced purchase of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals through a cash and tender offer of roughly $720 million, or $22.50 a share. Glaxo's shares were off by 75 cents, or 1.7%, at $42.50. Also GenVec ( GNVC) said it will sell some 11.25 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase about 2.25 million more to institutional and accredited investors for proceeds of roughly $17 million. Shares were down 19 cents, or 11%, at $1.49 on higher-than-average volume. Meanwhile, Natus Medical ( BABY) shares turned down a day after the company raised revenue guidance but reined in its full-year profit expectations in light of its acquisition of privately held Sonamed Corp. and two stock offerings earlier this year. Shares, which rose 33 cents Thursday, gave up 77 cents, or 3.6%, to $20.35 Friday. Elsewhere, the Food and Drug Administration outlined proposals regarding the safety of contact lens solutions ahead of an advisory panel scheduled for next Tuesday, according to an Associated Press report.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).