The biotech industry leaders posted strong price gains on Thursday and Friday, reacting to a strong market and to news that the proposed breakthrough drug committee is most likely dead on Capitol Hill.

The five sector leaders - Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc., Chiron Corp., Genentech Inc. and Genzyme Corp. - collectively gained 11 percent in the final two days of the week, with AMGN and BGEN posting the strongest performances by picking up 18 and 19 percent, respectively. AMGN was helped by good first-quarter earnings.

All were helped by the strong showing of the market last week, including both cyclicals and growth stocks. In addition, with interest rates picking up, the top-tier biotechs are looking more attractive again as long-term investments, according to Will Chester of Denver Investment Advisors. Part of the industry's problem this year has been the revived economy, which sent investors into cyclicals.

Two-day bounce

The BioCentury 100, which includes all the top-tier stocks, was up 4 percent between the close of the market on Wednesday - the day of the breakthrough committee announcement in Washington - and the Friday close, although it was still down 2 percent for the week.