BioCentury on BioBusiness,
Tough week in Stockholm
Monday, February 22, 1999
By Shaun Brown
& Eric Pierce
The relative insulation of Europe's regional markets has shielded some biotech stocks from the buffeting suffered in the U.S. and in London. But Swedish investors turned away from biotech in Stockholm last week, perhaps spurred by the news that OxiGene (SSE:OXGN; OXGN) had discontinued its Neu-Sensamide cancer adjunct compound (see A3). OXGN was off SEK12 (16 percent) to SEK62.5 on the week, trimming its market cap to SEK638 million ($81 million). In NASDAQ trading, the stock fell $1.125 (14 percent) to $7.75.
Biora (SSE:BIOR; BIORY), the dental biomaterials company, fell SEK13 (20 percent) to SEK52 despite reporting full year results showing a near trebling of sales to SEK50.1 million from SEK16.5 million in 1997. BIOR's market capitalization is SEK1077 million ($137 million).
Biacore (SSE:BCOR) had a similar fate on release of its year end report, and the news that the biosensor company expected moderate sales increases for 1999, due mainly to the unstable markets in Asia and a transition to its own sales channels in Japan rather than local distributors. BCOR was off SEK5.5 to SEK86, leaving a market cap of SEK838 million ($106 million).
Medivir (SSE:MVIR) shed SEK15 (13 percent) to SEK105 after announcing that licensee Abbott is looking to sublicense ABT606, MVIR's shingles treatment. MVIR's valuation is SEK623 million ($79 million).
Australia's ForBio is mulling a dual listing through an offering on NASDAQ. The plant biotech company already trades its stock on the Australian Stock Exchange under the symbol FBO. Although no SEC filings have been made, Ebb & Flow has confirmed that the company is considering selling 2.5 million shares between $9.50 and $10.50 per share. A $10 deal price would value the company at $80 million. ForBio has a U.S. operation in Idaho - ForBio International Inc.- that is working
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