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Biotech Continues Upward Climb in October

Major movers in the Large-Cap Index were Genzyme whose shares shot up 23% in October on the news that that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted its product Epicel (cultured epidermal autografts) marketing approval under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) for the treatment of life-threatening wounds resulting from severe burns. Biogen Idec's (BIIB) shares closed the month up 11% boosted by its announcement that it was up for sale. The $21-plus billion market cap of Biogen may mean that only large pharmaceutical companies will be able to afford the price tag.

The Burrill Mid-Cap Biotech Index also showed a strong performance with an increase of 5% in October (22% year-to-date). Driving the group was Telik Inc. (up 41%), after reporting that the FDA had removed its partial hold on clinical trials for its developmental drug, Telcyta, designed to treat advanced ovarian cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Also jumping 24% was Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, which has agreed to be acquired by Galenica for approximately $915 million.

IPO's heat up again

After a short lull, the appetite for biotech IPOs increased once again. Four more biotech companies rolled out their IPOs in October bringing the total number of biotech IPOs in 2007 to 26.

-- MAP Pharmaceuticals, which is developing inhalable drugs to treat

migraine and pediatric asthma, priced its 5 million share offering at

$12, 20% below the midpoint of their proposed $14 to $16 range. During

the month its shares strengthened to close at $13.88.

-- Targanta Therapeutics, which developing an antibiotic treatment for

gram-positive bacterial infections, priced 5.8 million shares at $10

per share, 30% below the midpoint of its proposed range. The company's

shares closed down 13% at the end of October.

-- Genoptix, a company providing specialized laboratory services to

hematologists and oncologists,

SOURCE Burrill & Company
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