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Biotech Begins Year on a Quiet, but Optimistic Note
Date:2/2/2011

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The biotech industry opened the New Year quietly with the Burrill Biotech Select Index up marginally for January at 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, the capital markets recorded their strongest January in years. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed the month with a 2.7 percent gain and the Nasdaq Composite index closed up 1.8 percent.

"Although not yet reflected in biotech's performance on the capital markets, the mood at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco early January was upbeat reflecting the fact that many biotech and pharma CEOs believe that 2011 will be a good one for them," said G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company, a diversified global financial services firm focused on the life sciences industry.

"I believe we will see an increase in M&A activity in biotech land as companies position themselves for growth this year. It was clear that pharma executives were checking out promising companies to bolster their product pipelines...and several large biotechs, sitting on plenty of cash, made their intentions known that they are looking to acquire assets. Amgen, for example, pulled the trigger on a $1 billion deal late January to acquire BioVex, the creator of a late-stage cancer vaccine that has shown encouraging results in treating solid tumors," noted Burrill.

"We will also see in the next couple of weeks a final resolution to Sanofi Aventis' bid to acquire Genzyme," commented Burrill. "In addition, at the J.P. Morgan event several big pharma companies re-emphasized the growing importance of emerging markets to strengthen their bottom line," added Burrill. "It has been well documented that the global pharmaceutical market is poised to grow by as much as 7 percent this year and emerging markets will be a big part of that growth as more government spending and broader access to health care in developing economies drive demand."

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