(31 Dec) Biotechnology bucks the market trend [the "Big Picture" of 2005]
(30 Dec) 2005 ends with a flurry of deals, positioning for the emerging disruptive PostGenetics business
(29 Dec) Perlegen, Pfizer Pen Four-Year PGx Partnership; Deal Covers IP Rights, Research Payments ["Bidding war" in the offing?]
(28 Dec) Pfizer Buys $ 50 M Stake in Perlegen; 12-Percent Ownership Could Grow If IPO Launched
(27 Dec) Banned in biology [Welcoming Bill Gates]
(24 Dec) Role of MicroRNA Identified In Thyroid Cancer ["PostGenes, PostGene Diseases, PostGenetic Medicine"]
(23 Dec) Cedars-Sinai researchers demonstrate a new way to switch therapeutic genes 'on' and 'off [PostGenetic Medicine is just a turn-on?]
(25 Dec) Breakthrough of the Year [of 1859]: Evolution in Action [What is news? Dog Bites Man, or "Man Bites Dog"?]
(23 Dec) Evolution in Action Highlighted in Science’s "Breakthrough of the Year" [of 1859]
(19 Dec) Civilisation has left its mark on our genes [correction, on human Genome]
(17 Dec) Probing Connection Between Regulatory DNA And Disease [ NEW TOOLS ARE NEEDED]
(19 Dec) GTG/GENE stock holds steady - what's next?
(16 Dec) Plan matures for partner to genome quest. Forget mutations: geneticists are hunting for subtler changes to DNA [Methylation].
(16 Dec) Genetic wins little fight over DNA work ["Junk" DNA is cheap or it is still an incredible bargain?]
(15 Dec) GTG Provides Further Details of the Settlement with Applera
(14 Dec) New Effort Aims to Unlock Secrets of Cancer Genes ["Don't blame me, I joined 'PostGenetics', focusing on 'Junk DNA' diseases"]
(13 Dec) [Hold it! - there is more to 'Junk DNA Industry'. Further announcement regarding GTG / APPLERA settlement]
(12 Dec) [Now it is official - The "Junk DNA Intellectual Property value proposition is forever validated"]
(10 Dec) [Half a Billion Dollars from Bill Gates for] Anti-Malaria Donation [Maybe software would help more directly?]
(09 Dec) Barking up new trees in search for cures [ALERT! The secret of your illness may well be in the 'junk' DNA"]
(09 Dec) Veil of secrecy "costs" GTG/GENE a 10% drop in stock price on a single day
(08 Dec) Man's best friend shares most genes with humans: [Triple whammy - time sobering up!]
(06 Dec) 'Junk DNA' Stock of GTG [NYSE symbol "GENE"] jumps 8.47% on a single day anticipating settlement tomorrow
(05 Dec) Further Update regarding Applera Dispute - [Court allows one more workday to settle with "GENE"]
(01 Dec) Startup Haplomics to Muscle In on Gene-Testing Market
(01 Dec) MicroRNA may have fail-safe role in limb development
(01 Dec) SETI and Intelligent Design
(01 Dec) Treasures in the Trash [Forbes Magazine]
(28 Nov) The elusive fountain of youth
(27 Nov) Rosetta Genomics' Isaac Bentwich: "Dark DNA" may be even more important than active genes in causing disease
(25 Nov) The earliest animals had human-like genes
(24 Nov) GTG and APPLERA ask Court time till 5th of December to finalize Junk DNA patent settlement
(19 Nov) Oops - the price of junkDNA just took off ... "junk DNA" is the word ...
(11 Nov) Further update regarding 'Junk DNA on Wall Street' (GTG settles with Applera) - an analysis
(09 Nov) JunkDNA made it to Wall Street - GTG earmarked to escalate to a $ 2 Billion business alone
(07 Nov) "Stipulated Revised Case Schedule and Order" on GTG website GTG, Applera Look to Be Nearing Settlement
(02 Nov) The American Heart Association donated about $1.23 M to fund University projects
(27 Oct) NHGRI's Collins Says US Must Launch Its Own Biobanking Project
(27 Oct) The Role of Junk DNA in Social Behavior
(20 Oct) Study: Junk DNA is critically important
(17 Oct) METHYLATION HYPOTHESIS OF FRACTOGENE;Predictive Scientific Theories on the Function of 'junk DNA'
(17 Oct) "Taxpayer Alert": Large-scale Sequencing Research Network Sets Its Sights On Disease Targets
(12 Oct) Smoking chimps show similarities to humans
(05 Oct) The greatest discovery of all time ("ET joins ED")
(04 Oct) Harmful Mutations Selectively Eliminated
(28 Sep) Experimental support of the FIRST PREDICTION OF "FRACTOGENE accepted for publication (in Press)
(26 Sep) New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
"You only believe theories when they make predictions confirmed by scientific evidence"
(26 Sep) NIH Launches Program to Study Genetics and Genomics of Xenopus
(26 Sep) Search for genetic origins of disease
(23 Sep) There is more to non-coding DNA than meets the eye
(13 Sep) Rosetta Genomics raises $ 6 M in fourth round
(05 Sep) Importance of 'junk' DNA found
(05 Sep) Junk RNA Begins To Yield Its Secrets
(31 Aug) Scientists find chimps, people are 96 percent identical; San Jose Mercury News
(31 Aug) 'Life code' of chimps laid bare: BBC
(31 Aug) What does the fact that we share 95 percent of our genes with the chimpanzee mean? Sci. Am.
(31 Aug) Sisters under the skin; The Economist
(31 Aug) Study_compares_human_and_chimpanzee_DNA; Nature News
(31 Aug) Reading the chimp book of life; BBC
(31 Aug) Scientists find missing links in chimp genome; Guardian
(19 Aug) Genetic Efficiency and the Carbon Cycle; New Scientist
(30 Jul) Newsweek on JunkDNA
(14 Jul) Genomics study highlights the importance of junk DNA in higher eukaryotes
(04 Jul) The most successful business model of California Gold Rush - *toolmaking*
(29 Jun) Venter launches Synthic Genomics; Bacterium to generate hydrogen
(23 Jun) Junk DNA on National Television - "Extra DNA Makes Voles Faithful"
(21 Jun) Rosetta Genomics identifies hundreds of novel human microRNAs
(20 Jun) Founders of "The Human Genome Project" are ready to "re-thinking it all"... The Uncertain Future for Central Dogma
(16 Jun) The Economist: Helpful junk
(16 Jun) Rodent Social Behavior Encoded in Junk DNA
(31 May) Affy to Buy ParAllele for $ 120 M in Stock; Deal Expected to Close in Q3
(31 May) Agilent, Rosetta Biosoftware to Integrate Gene Expression Analysis Software
(27 May) Biochemistry Graduate Student Receives UCR Award for Outstanding Research
(30 May) Israel’s Rosetta Genomics - Cracking the RNA Code
(25 May) Agilent to Acquire Informatics Company Scientific Software for Undisclosed Amount
(22 May) Israel's Rosetta Genomics - cracking the RNA code
(18 May) Debating the Merits of Intelligent Design
(18 May) Gene researchers find variations by ancestry
(27 Jan) Scientists Find Genome Structure Responsible for Gene Activation
(20 Jan) Highly Conserved Non-Coding Sequences [Submitted by IPGS Founder M. Achiriloaie]
(19 Jan) Scientists Decipher Genome Of Bacterium That Helps Clean Up Major Groundwater Pollutants
(14 Jan) Study finds more than one-third of human genome regulated by RNA [Affymetrix]
(14 Jan) Fujitsu BioSciences Licencses BioMedCAChe to GPC Biotech; New Version Due This Quarter
(07 Jan) Pharmacogenomics to Benefit from Steven Burrill's New $ 300 M - $ 500 M Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund
(05 Jan) Agilent Acquires Computational Biology in Bid to Expand Microarray Platform
(07 Jan) Pufferfish genome clue to human and animal development
(05_Jan) Affy Says Sales Surpassed $100 M in Q4 '04, a 17-Percent Increase
(05 Jan) Shares in Affymetrix Jump 6.95 % on News of Record Sales Growth
By Justin Gillis / The Washington Post /
Saturday, December 31, 2005
WASHINGTON Shares of the nation’s largest biotechnology companies are trading at or near record levels as the year comes to a close, a payoff for investors in companies that have been putting intensive focus on cancer and other hard-to-treat diseases over the last few years.
The American Stock Exchange biotechnology index, which tracks some of the largest companies in the industry, hit a five-year high during the trading day Tuesday, powered by optimism over recent or impending treatment approvals at the Food and Drug Administration. Shares of the industry’s bellwether company, Genentech Inc., hit their highest point ever earlier this month, though they’ve pulled back a bit since then.
Analysts said the large biotech companies, which include Genentech and a handful of other big names, such as Amgen Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc., are beginning to replace traditional pharmaceutical stocks in the holdings of many investment funds that want a piece of the growing health care market.
The strong performance is largely confined to the high end of the biotech industry the companies that have put blockbuster drugs on the market and have grown into vast enterprises with thousands of employees and drug factories humming night and day.
The Amex index, which tracks the performance of these companies, is up 110 percent since bottoming out in mid-2002, compared with an increase of 30 percent over the same period in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. For 2005, the biotech index is up 25 percent, while the broader market, as reflected by the S&P 500, rose a mere 4 percent.
By contrast, a separate index that reflects the share prices of smaller biotech companies, the Nasdaq Biotech Index, has essentially mirrored the broader market, up about 3 percent for the year.
The traditional drug industry hit a rocky patch this year: Merck & Co., once the world’s most respected drug company, is defending itself against a slew of lawsuits claiming it hid safety problems with its Vioxx painkiller. And the next couple of years don’t look much brighter for the big pharmaceutical companies, with numerous drug patents due to expire, potentially costing the industry billions of dollars in revenue.
“The Mercks and Pfizers are no longer unlimited growth machines,” said John McCamant, editor of the Medical Technology Stock Letter in Berkeley, Calif. “Interestingly enough, it looks like Amgen and Genentech are. We’ve had a changing of the guard.”
The century-old drug industry has historically used chemical techniques to discover its products, whereas the 30-year-old biotechnology industry has used genetic techniques. The latter approach is paying off for the leading companies, with a string of spectacular drugs for cancer and other tough diseases coming to market recently. And the companies have managed to sell them at extraordinary prices, sometimes exceeding $50,000 a year for each patient.
The split between big companies, with their rising stock prices, and smaller fry, with nearly flat prices, was reflected not only on the national scene but also in the Washington region.
MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., with an important preventive drug for respiratory disease in babies, was up 29 percent for the year, closing Thursday at $35.04. By contrast, Human Genome Sciences Inc., a Rockville, Md., company that gets plenty of publicity but has yet to put a drug on the market, was down 31 percent for the year, closing Thursday at $8.32.
Genentech, of South San Francisco, Calif., was the first biotech company, founded in 1976. It struggled for years, but recently has been on a roll. Genentech now sells the world’s top-selling cancer drug, Rituxan, and a recently-approved Genentech cancer product, Avastin, looks set to surpass it.
Genentech revenues are approaching $7 billion a year. An old-line pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Inc., takes in more than that from Lipitor, the world’s best-selling medicine. But Genentech is growing faster, and long-term growth potential seems to be what health care investors are looking for.
“Genentech had an incredible year as the company nailed one positive clinical trial after another in what is the best string of positive trial news we have ever seen in the biotech industry,” McCamant wrote in a recent edition of his newsletter.
The company’s stock is riding so high, in fact, that some investment professionals are worried. Morningstar Inc., the independent research firm, pegs “fair value” for Genentech shares at $70, compared with Thursday’s close of $92.06, and Morningstar rates the stock as a sell at current prices. “Genentech has had a long and impressive streak of good fortune, but drug development is probability-based, and odds are that the company will witness a setback at some point,” Morningstar analyst Jill Kiersky wrote recently.
Some analysts have a similar concern about the broad market in biotech shares. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. warned investors in a recent report that with many new cancer drugs coming to market, competition is stiffening. “The increasing availability of new cancer drugs to treat a variety of cancers is great for patients, but the market is becoming more crowded and it is becoming more difficult” to design convincing studies that can supplant previous treatment regimens, the brokerage house said.
McCamant has been urging his readers to focus their investments on smaller, undiscovered biotech companies with potentially valuable products under development. He figures that small companies will have more room to run in 2006. “You’re looking at an industry that can’t be judged with a rearview mirror, because it’s moving forward so fast,” he said.