Equity Briefing : Neptune Jumps; Anthera & Synta Pharmaceuticals Plunge

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:11pm EDT

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Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc(NASDAQ:ANTH) is the biggest percentage loser in today's session as the company said that its study of a drug in development for the treatment of lupus patients didn't meet a main goal, forcing the company to reshuffle its plans for a follow-up trial. Shares of the company are now down 69.50% at $0.84 after hitting a new low of $0.81 earlier in the session.

Neptune Technologies & Bioressources-Ord(NASDAQ:NEPT) extended its uptrend for the fourth straight session and soared 9.84% to $4.80 after hitting a new 52-week high of $4.84 after a note from BioMedReports hinted that a long anticipated stock dividend may be announced shortly.

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ:OREX) continued to move higher after yesterday's up move of 20% as the FDA approved  Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) Belviq weight loss drug. Analyst at JPMorgan upped its investment rating on the stock to Overweight, citing the company "stands to be the biggest beneficiary" as approval for its own weight loss drug, Contrave, is still far off, which leaves a valuation gap with rivals whose drugs are closer to approval. Shares of the company are now up 19.31% to $5.87 and made a new 52-week high of $5.88.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.(NASDAQ:SNTA) shares are hammered down by 31.72% to $4.95 after reporting mixed interim results from a Phase IIb/III trial of its ganetespib treatment for lung cancer. Synta is assessing the drug in combination with docetaxel, a leading chemotherapy.

Synergetics USA Inc.(NASDAQ:SURG) is among the top winners as the company won  FDA clearance for VersaVIT, a vitrectomy system for the retinal surgery market. The stock is now up 27.13% at $4.92, although came off session high of $5.75.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated(NASDAQ:VRTX) lost about 13% despite the company said a mid-stage study showing a combination of its VX-80 and Kalydeco drugs for cystic fibrosis helped improve lung function in patients. "The highest dose arm looks good," says ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum, who reiterates his "buy" rating on the stock.

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