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Biotech industry shows signs of a strong comeback

Source: Fierce Biotech
By: John Carroll

The Biotechnology Industry Organization and Thomson Reuters stuck their fingers into the market air and detected distinct signs of a growing wind filling the sails of the nation's biotech industry.

Investors have responded to positive clinical data, driving up shares at a host of biotech companies, analysts said in an annual survey of investment sentiment. But there was also caution in the air as the same investors predicted that overall R&D productivity for 2009 to 2011 would only be on par with what they saw between 2006 and 2008.

"We are encouraged to see a recovery in the biotech sector," said Bill Haney, global head of investor relations services at Thomson Reuters Corporate Services. "Nevertheless, investors are adamant that senior management be proactive and forthright with their communications. Given the current economic conditions, CEOs and CFOs must regularly reach out to the investment community to describe their objectives, plans and achievements."

There are beginning to be plentiful signs of a turnaround. Seattle Genetics said earlier this week that it is raising $118 million from a new stock offering while Inspire Pharmaceuticals said Monday its offering raised $115 million. Cumberland Pharma filed an IPO this week, the first new biopharma offering in almost two years, while Talecris Biotherapeutics has expressed an interest in filing a billion-dollar IPO. The public money is ginning fresh resources for an industry hit hard by the credit crunch.

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