Health stocks were mixed in the middle of what's been -- and will likely continue to be -- a volatile week. The Nasdaq and Amex biotech indices lagged by 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively. But big pharma did slightly better; the Amex pharmaceutical index edged up 0.6%. A slew of big pharmas, including AstraZeneca ( AZN), King ( KG), Pfizer ( PFE), Sanofi Aventis ( SNY) and Wyeth ( WYE), registered more than 2% gains for the day. Device maker Boston Scientific ( BSX) said Wednesday that a Delaware court ruled in favor of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) in a patent dispute regarding a J&J patent and Boston Scientifics NIR stent product, which hasn't been sold since 2004. The result, Boston Scientific will have to pay roughly $702 million in prejudgment interest and damages. Boston Scientific shares fell $1.02, or 8.3%, to $11.25, while J&J's shares were off by $1.41, or 2.1%, at $67.87. Advanced Life Sciences ( ADLS) said Wednesday that it submitted a new drug application in the U.S. for cethromycin, an antibiotic for respiratory tract infections. Separately, it said it signed a deal with Wyeth ( WYE) for development and commercialization of the drug in the Asia pacific region, excluding Japan. In exchange for Asian rights to cethromycin, Wyeth agreed to purchase a 4.9% stake in Advanced Life Sciences and will pay milestones and sales royalties on the future development and sales of the antibiotic. Advanced Life Sciences shares were off by 14 cents, or 17%, at 67 cents, while Wyeth shares were up $1.19 cents, or 3.2%, at $38.15.
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).