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Biotech Posts Weak Performance in April
Date:5/3/2010

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the pop in the shares of Dendreon on the announcement that its prostate cancer therapy Provenge had finally been approved by the FDA, the biotech sector failed to build on that event and turned in a lackluster performance for the month with the Burrill Biotech Select Index dropping 2 percent in April. Not helping the cause was the fact that several companies including Amgen and Gilead Sciences cut their profit forecasts citing the impact of costs from U.S. healthcare reform in their outlooks. Gilead closed the month down almost 13 percent. Although the company reported a 45 percent jump in quarterly profit it lowered its full-year revenue forecast due to the recently passed health care reform legislation. They said its impact will be felt mostly in the company's HIV treatment business. Amgen, whose shares fell 3.6 percent in April, estimated that going forward, healthcare reform would trim annual U.S. sales revenue by 5 percent to 6 percent and $200 million to $250 million this year.

The new U.S. healthcare law calls on drug companies to offer higher price rebates for government funded health plans and will eventually require them to pay a fee based on their market share of the public plans. Some of the changes went into effect at the beginning of the year and all will be phased in by January 1, 2014.

"The industry convenes in Chicago this week for BIO 2010, where over 18,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend, and despite April's performance of the 'blue-chip biotech companies, the sector is certainly in much better shape than it was one year ago when BIO 2009 was held in Atlanta," said G. Steven Burrill,
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SOURCE Burrill & Company
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