The top pre-market NASDAQ stock market gainers are: Curis, TGC Industries, Verigy, Leap Wireless International, and Magic Software Enterprises. The top pre-market NASDAQ stock market losers are: Xenoport, Dish Network, DIRECTV, and Universal Display.


Curis Inc. (CRIS) stock climbed 20.14 percent to $3.52 in the pre-market trading, as Genentech's skin cancer drug vismodegib meets primary goal in mid-stage study. Genentech, a unit of Roche Group, said a pivotal Phase II clinical study of its investigational Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor vismodegib met its primary endpoint and showed positive results in people with advanced basal cell carcinoma, a severe type of skin cancer. Genentech develops vismodegib under a collaboration agreement with therapeutic drug developer Curis.

The study showed that vismodegib shrank tumors in a pre-defined percentage of people and as per a preliminary safety assessment, most common adverse events were consistent with previous experience with vismodegib, Genentech said.

According to Curis, Roche has indicated that it anticipates making at least one regulatory submission in 2011 to seek approval to commercialize GDC-0449, which now has a generic name approved by the World Health Organization, vismodegib.

TGC Industries Inc. (TGE) stock jumped 17.13 percent to $8 in the pre-market trading, as it agreed to be acquired by Dawson Geophysical Co. (DWSN) for $8 per TGC share or around $157 million. The Boards of both companies have approved the transaction. The combined company will retain the Dawson name and trading symbol. The transaction is expected to close by late second quarter or early third quarter of 2011.

TGC shareholders will receive 0.188 shares of Dawson stock for every one share of TGC stock, provided that the average of the volume weighted average price of Dawson common stock on the NASDAQ during the 10 consecutive trading days ending on the second business day prior to the date of the shareholders' meetings of Dawson and TGC to be called for the purpose of approving the transaction is equal to or greater than $32.54 but less than or equal to $52.54.

In the event that the average price of Dawson's common stock is outside of that range, then the parties, at their respective option, shall be entitled to terminate the transaction following good faith negotiations to determine a modified, mutually acceptable exchange ratio. For the 10 consecutive trading days ended March 18, 2011, the average of the volume weighted average price of Dawson's common stock was $44.16.

Verigy, Ltd. (VRGY) stock advanced 9.80 percent to $14 in the pre-market trading, as its board of directors determines that Advantest Corp. (ATE) proposal is superior to LTX-Credence Corp. (LTXC) merger. The board said the proposal from Advantest to buy all outstanding Verigy ordinary shares for $15 a share in cash constitutes a Superior Offer within the meaning of the definitive merger agreement between Verigy and LTX-Credence previously announced on November 18, 2010.

Verigy has notified LTX-Credence that the Verigy board of directors intends to withdraw its recommendation in favor of the pending merger transaction between Verigy and LTX-Credence and intends to recommend that Verigy stockholders vote against the issuance of Verigy ordinary shares in connection with the proposed merger with LTX-Credence.

In accordance with the terms of the LTX-Credence merger agreement, LTX-Credence has until the close of business on March 25, 2011 to deliver a proposal to Verigy that would cause the Advantest proposal to cease to constitute a Superior Offer.

Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP) stock increased 8.73 percent to $13.20 in the pre-market trading.

Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. (MGIC) stock gained 5.06 percent to $5.81 in the pre-market trading.


Xenoport, Inc. (XNPT) stock plunged 10.04 percent to $6 in the pre-market trading, as it will stop development of its experimental drug to treat heartburn after it failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage trial. The company was developing the drug, arbaclofen placarbil, as a combination therapy for people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD), but do not get complete relief from the medicines that doctors currently prescribe to treat it.

XenoPort announced preliminary top-line results from a Phase 2b clinical trial of arbaclofen placarbil (also known as AP) as adjunctive therapy in patients with GERD who do not experience complete relief of GERD symptoms while being treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPI).

In this study, none of the AP doses showed statistically significant improvements over placebo in the analysis of the primary endpoint. Analyses of key secondary endpoints did not yield consistent results when AP doses were compared to placebo. XenoPort, which is also developing the drug as a treatment for spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, said it will continue its planned late-stage trial of the drug for that condition.

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) stock tumbled 3.73 percent to $22.99 in the pre-market trading.

DIRECTV (DTV) stock fell 2.90 percent to $43.50 in the pre-market trading.

Universal Display Corp. (PANL) stock declined 1.55 percent to $45.85 in the pre-market trading.