|By Marketwire .||
|November 29, 2012 08:20 AM EST||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/29/12 -- The Biotech Industry has skyrocketed in 2012 as an increase in the number of new drug approvals has boosted investor optimism within the industry. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) have both gained over 25 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Biotech Industry and provides equity research on Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDIX) and Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML).
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"In 2011, the U.S. FDA approved 30 new drugs, compared to 21 in 2010," S&P Capital IQ wrote in a note. "Through September 2012, the year-to-date total was 22. We see an improving trend for FDA first cycle review approvals and a rise in the rate of new drug approvals for rare diseases, which we think is helping to boost investor sentiment for the agency, after years of criticism stemming from inconsistency in making and communicating its decisions."
Another key factor in the Biotech Industry's success has been the "patent cliff" major pharmaceuticals have faced in 2012. Major drug manufacturers have looked to biotech companies to help offset major revenue losses from expiring patents as it is less time consuming than developing new drugs through R&D.
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Idenix Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases. Idenix's current focus is on the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Analysts at Deutsche Bank have recently initiated coverage on the company with a "buy" rating and a $7 price target.
Vermillion, along with its prestigious scientific collaborators, has diagnostic programs in oncology, vascular medicine and women's health. Shares of the company spiked after reporting positive results from a clinical study of their ovarian cancer test OVA1. "The publication of the OVA500 study advances our strategic plan to increase physician adoption and payer coverage, leading to incorporation of OVA1 into the standard of care for ovarian cancer," said Bruce A. Huebner, Vermillion's interim CEO.
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