Last fall, when a few biotech deals started getting done, optimists quickly concluded that the capital markets for biotech stocks were back to business as usual. But anyone who's been out doing deals, whether banker or company, knows theres been a sea change in the attitudes of investors. Business as usual is a new game with new rules.

Although deals are getting done, the weakness of the market is underlined by the low level of activity of such prominent underwriters as Alex. Brown & Sons and Montgomery Securities.