Healthcare Sector Recap: Eli Lily, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer React to Fitch

Eli Lily and Company (NYSE:LLY), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) are the companies being affected most negatively by the 2012 outlook from Fitch and patent expirations for pharmaceutical companies. Fitch, arguing soft demand, patent expirations, and government spending cuts will take a toll on the industry, also sees pharmas responding to these challenges by stepping up their M&A activity.

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Synovis (NASDAQ:SYNO) shareholders have more good news, as FQ4 earnings rose a better-than-expected 83%, continuing the medical device company’s streak of double-digit sales growth. Sales of its Peri-Strips for gastric bypass surgery, the biggest contributor to its top line, climbed 28%. SYNO agreed to be acquired by Baxter (NYSE:BAX) for $28/share yesterday.

Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS) acquired LifeGen Technologies, a genomics company based in Madison, Wisconsin for $11.7M. The purchase expands Nu Skin’s anti-aging research capabilities, giving it access to LifeGen’s extensive proprietary tissue bank and gene expression database, plus patents and other intellectual property related to the field.

Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SLXP) has submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA for its HIV-induced diarrhea drug Crofelemer. The agency has 60 days to review the application and decide whether it will enter its review process, but it also researching alternative possible uses for the drug, including the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

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