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The diverging fortunes of Adolor and Auxilium

Shares of one drug developer benefited from a partnership with Pfizer, while another shelved an experimental treatment.

The stock prices of two Philadelphia-area drug developers charged in opposite directions yesterday.

Adolor Corp. and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. are part of the 137-stock Nasdaq Biotechnology Index. Exton's Adolor was the worst performer, while Malvern's Auxilium ended the day with the third-best gain.

Auxilium shares spiked 15 percent higher, up $3.39 to close at $26.28, on news of a new alliance with Pfizer Inc.

The world's biggest drug maker agreed to pay $75 million up front, and possibly $410 million more, for the European rights to Auxilium's Xiaflex.

In contrast, Adolor shares tumbled 33 percent, or 73 cents to close at $1.47, after the company said it would drop development of a treatment for chronic opioid bowel dysfunction. That's the same indication that GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. withdrew its support for in September.

Feted at the Fed

Economist Martin Feldstein may have been one of President Reagan's chief economic advisers, but he's not stuck in the '80s when it comes to the financial crises.

In the last month alone, he has:

* Trashed the $700 billion Trouble Asset Relief Program.

* Prescribed bankruptcy as the cure for what ails the Detroit automakers.

* Advocated massive federal spending to offset the decline in consumer spending and business investment.

(That last one was hard for a self-described fiscal conservative.)

Last night at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Global Interdependence Center awarded its Frederick Heldring Global Leadership Award to Feldstein, of Harvard University.

The award is given to those who have "demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the development of international relations, trade and global citizenship," the center says.