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Ebb & Flow

The Wall Street crowd has always said that the bull market for biotech IPOs would be around as long as investors continued to make money on deals. Although it may not be news that the IPO window has shut, the number of biotech IPOs that are under water may raise some eyebrows. Of the 65 U.S. IPOs that priced last year, 42 have fallen below their IPO price. Indeed, seven are down 50 percent or more, and 25 are down at least 25 percent. Worst off are Pharsight (PHST), a developer of simulation and data analysis tools, which closed Friday at $3.125, 69 percent below its IPO price of $10. Drug discovery software provider Genomica (GNOM), which closed Friday at $6.688, is down 65 percent from its IPO price of $19.

The 23 gainers are led by more mature product companies: cancer company Praecis (PRCS, up 176 percent from IPO price), agbio play Eden (EDEN, up 116 percent), InterMune (ITMN, up 57 percent), and animal model provider Charles River Labs (CRL, up 50 percent). EDEN, ITMN and CRL all have products on the market, while the FDA is reviewing PRCS's NDA for abarelix depot LHRH/GnRH antagonist to treat hormone-dependent prostate cancer.

The performances reflect the sharpened investor interest in product stories and a move away from genomics stocks. "The genomics stuff is way down, and the product stories are the ones who are winning," said Banc of America banker Marina Bozilenko. "Investors are asking themselves 'when will a product come to market and how much will I have

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