Third Quarter Stocks: If not now, . . .

If the biotech industry can't create some merger and acquisition activity now - when the equity markets are sending a clear signal that the funding window has been nailed shut - perhaps it never will.

By now, everyone knows that biotech stock trading was simply horrible in the third quarter, with the BioCentury 100 Price Level index falling another 8 percent. The sector is now down 15 percent in 1998, and 28 percent below its level a year ago.

In fact, The Carson Group's Life Sciences Large Cap Index of companies above $500 million in market capitalization has added some $15 billion (35 percent) in valuation this year. But this means the 190 second tier companies that make up Carson's Smaller Cap index have taken the brunt of the drubbing, losing nearly $8 billion or 21 percent

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