Big Movers in Healthcare - JAZZ, HEB, MNTA, MBLX and OCLS

by: M. E. Garza

After a four-day losing streak, the over all market rallied despite signs that Americans are still struggling to find jobs. A weekly report from the Labor Department said that the number of workers filing initial claims for unemployment benefits increased by 15,000 in the week ended June 20. The healthcare sector, which has been performing well despite intense recession pressure, was joined Friday by some action in housing stocks - this after real estate markets like California and home builders like Lennar (NYSE:LEN) reported a jump in sales and orders.

Biotechnology & Drugs were led by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAZZ). Thursday night's news that Jazz's fibromyalgia drug delivered promising preliminary late-stage data helped fueled a rapid rise in stock prices. Company shares were up as much as 62% Friday - after trading up from $0.55 in late April - to a close at $4.48 +1.23 (37.85%). The company confirmed the positive results from the first Phase III placebo-controlled trial of sodium oxybate. The treatment for fibromyalgia achieved its key endpoints. Only preliminary top-line efficacy and safety data are available at this time and further analyses are planned -- including analyses of additional secondary endpoints. JAZZ expects to submit a NDA for sodium oxybate to the FDA by the end of 2009.

Hemispherx BioPharma, Inc (AMEX:HEB) -- Hemispherx Biopharma says that low turnout at its annual shareholders meeting Thursday has prompted an extension until July 28 of a vote to increase the number of common-stock shares by 75 percent. Only about 40 percent of the outstanding shares entitled to vote were represented in person or by proxy during yesterday's meeting, but a majority vote is needed to approve increasing the number of shares from 200 million to 350 million, the company said. The shareholders meeting was the focus of a great deal of attention yesterday and shares traded up to $2.40 +0.39 (19.40%) after a couple of minor news items killed rumors, soothed nerves and gave investors renewed confidence in the company. As a matter of fact, I have posted an interesting interview with a "citizen reporter" who kept his fellow investors on various social media forums up to date with information from that meeting via his laptop. He shares some of the things he observed on BioMedReports.

Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNTA), Last Trade: 11.32 +1.48 (15.04%) -- At first glance, it looks like this biotechnology company specializing in the characterization and engineering of complex drugs is climbing on no news, but subscribers to our Upcoming FDA Decision Calendar know that Momenta Pharma's partner, the Sandoz division of Novartis (NYSE:NVS), filed an abbreviated new drug application (NASDAQ:ANDA) for a generic version (M356) of Teva Pharma's (NYSE:TEVA) multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) ($2.3B in sales for 2008). Chatter and developments on that front are likely bringing volume to the stock.

Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX) $8.56 +1.03, shares rose (13.68%) after a key development Thursday. The company announced that Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL) will purchase their Mirel bioplastic injection molding grade under a supply agreement. On Monday, Metabolix announced that Telles, its joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) that produces Mirel bioplastics, has collaborated with Teknor Color Company to develop a range of color concentrates for use with Mirel resin. The newly developed color concentrates are formulated using Mirel base resins and meet ASTM D6400 and EN 13432 standards for compostability and biodegradability. Metabolix also announced that Telles, the joint venture between Metabolix, Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Company that produces Mirel bioplastics, has developed its injection molding bioplastic, Mirel P1003, in a collaborative effort with Nypro, a leading global precision plastics molder.

Another company that moved Friday was Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:OCLS). On Thursday shares rose as much as 19% and today they climbed another 8.31% to close at $3.52 +0.27. On Wednesday, the biopharmaceutical company released test results conducted by an independent laboratory which indicated that their specific Microcyn Technology formulation reduced infectivity of the swine flu virus after 30-seconds exposure. It turns out that the company may have confirmed the effectiveness of in a virucidal time-kill suspension test as a way of responding to criticism from TheStreet.Com's Adam Feuerstein. I'm in the process of lining-up an interview with the technology's inventor - CEO Hoji Alimi so we can get his take on these events. I encourage and invite OCLS investors to submit questions that you may have for Mr. Alimi in the comments section of this article and I will keep you posted with more on this developing story.

In the meantime, here are the rest of the Healthcare Sectors Top Winners and Losers for Thursday, June 25, 1009:

Gainers (% price change) Last Trade Change Mkt Cap
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc JAZZ 4.48 +1.23 (37.85%) 129.59M
Hemispherx BioPharma, Inc HEB 2.40 +0.39 (19.40%) 204.30M
Momenta Pharmaceuticals MNTA 11.32 +1.48 (15.04%) 451.54M
Metabolix, Inc. MBLX 8.56 +1.03 (13.68%) 196.74M
Symyx Technologies, Inc. SMMX 6.31 +0.70 (12.48%) 215.03M

Losers (% price change)
OraSure Tech., Inc. OSUR 2.53 -0.75 (-22.87%) 116.05M
ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals CXSP 17.63 -2.37 (-11.85%) 281.74M
Labopharm Inc. (CAN) DDSS 2.13 -0.13 (-5.75%) 121.06M
Chindex Intl., Inc. CHDX 11.99 -0.73 (-5.74%) 175.23M
Sanofi-Aventis SA (ADR) SNY 30.21 -1.63 (-5.12%) 82.54B

Most Actives (dollar volume)
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 56.27 +0.81 (1.46%) 155.06B
Pfizer Inc. PFE 15.33 +0.61 (4.14%) 103.45B
Merck & Co., Inc. MRK 26.57 +1.12 (4.40%) 56.03B
Boston Scientific Corp. BSX 10.00 +0.49 (5.15%) 15.06B
Eli Lilly & Co. LLY 35.33 +1.72 (5.12%) 40.59B

Disclosure: No Positions