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Biotech Train Heads for Gains

The biotechnology business has ridden a roller coaster in the financial markets for the past 18 months. The gyrations have been enough to make even the most stalwart investor swallow hard. Enthusiastic over the potential of human genome sequencing and depressed about the downturn in the dot-com markets, investors drove up values in biotech stocks by 300 percent and more. But by spring, the high-tech stocks' Titanic pitches had finally helped tow biotech stocks down by 50 percent. Now, with analy

Ted Agres
The biotechnology business has ridden a roller coaster in the financial markets for the past 18 months. The gyrations have been enough to make even the most stalwart investor swallow hard. Enthusiastic over the potential of human genome sequencing and depressed about the downturn in the dot-com markets, investors drove up values in biotech stocks by 300 percent and more. But by spring, the high-tech stocks' Titanic pitches had finally helped tow biotech stocks down by 50 percent. Now, with analysts forecasting an imminent upturn in the biotech and life science markets, it's time to get out the motion-sickness pills.

The ride could have been even more dizzying. Compared to last year's sinking Internet stocks, the life science issues have fared well, even benefiting from high-tech woes by attracting public funding and private venture capital. Analysts still express concern, however. If wary investors don't turn back to biotech as fast...

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