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Biotech Shows Glimmer of an Upward Trend
Date:6/1/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The markets closed out May in positive territory following on from their April performance...which was their best month in nine years. The Dow Jones industrial average posted its third straight monthly gain closing up 4 percent with the Nasdaq close behind - up 3.3 percent in May. The positive market trend helped biotech with the Burrill Biotech Select Index posting a modest monthly gain of 0.4 percent.

"There is just a glimmer of an upward trend for biotech as evidenced by the performance of the Burrill Mid-Cap Biotech Index, whose members have been particularly hard hit during this economic downturn," said G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company, a San Francisco based global leader in life sciences with activities in Private Equity, Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media. "For the past couple of months some of the companies in the Index, such as Cougar Biotech, Geron, and Dendreon, have been on a tear pushing the year-to-date performance of the Index up a remarkable 16 percent, with a 5 percent jump in May alone.

Vaulting development stage biopharmaceutical company Cougar Biotechnology's share value by 33 percent in May was the news that Johnson & Johnson bid approximately $970 million cash to acquire the company and gain access to compounds in development for the treatment of prostate cancer, as well as breast cancer and multiple myeloma. Cougar Biotechnology is currently conducting two Phase III trials for abiraterone acetate, a late stage, first-in-class compound for the treatment of prostate cancer.

"The predicted land grab of biotech by big pharma because of their depressed values has not yet panned out with pharma companies preferring to acquire each other. However, we may now see an upswing in M&A activity heading into the summer months, since the Johnson & Johnson acquisition of Cougar may prompt pharma, who have been generally sitting on
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SOURCE Burrill & Company
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