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Biotech Finishes on a High in August, Burrill Report Says
Date:9/4/2007

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- "Biotech rode a surging market in the final trading days on the capital markets before the Labor Day holiday weekend," said G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company, a San Francisco based global leader in life sciences whose principal activities are in Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media. "The Burrill Biotech Select Index closed the month up 4.4% well ahead of the Dow's 1% gain and NASDAQ's 2% increase."

Driving the Burrill Biotech Select Index were Onyx Pharmaceuticals (up 42%) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (up 21%). Onyx' jump was based on positive clinical data, while Vertex continued its upward climb as investors continue to bet that telaprevir, the company's experimental hepatitis C drug, will become a blockbuster. Amgen's woes continued and in the wake of health concerns surrounding its anemia drugs, Aranesp and Epogen, announced that it would shed 12-14% of its employees and cancel nearly $2 billion worth of capital projects. The company's shares closed down 7% for August and are down 27% year-to-date. It was not so long ago that industry heavyweights Amgen and Genentech were flirting with market caps of $100 billion. At the end of August, Amgen's market cap stood at $54 billion and Genentech's market cap was $79 billion.

It was a very turbulent month to say the least with wild swings in the capital markets with investors being spooked by weak economic data and ongoing credit concerns. "We haven't seen this kind of volatility since 2002," added Burrill. "At this time five years ago biotech was at its lowest point and since then has been on a steady upward climb driven in large part by biotech's blue chip companies. Our analysis, in the Burrill Biotechnology Monthly Report, reveals that an investment in biotech at that time would have yielded a very healthy 13% CAGR return so far.

"In addition, the biotech industry is transitioning from one focused principally on treating sickness to one tha
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SOURCE Burrill & Company
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