2Q Financial Markets Review: A never-ending story

With victory declared in the human genome project, maintaining momentum in the biotech sector will depend on whether it can continue to provide investors with a tangible anchor - something providing a sense of coherence and upcoming excitement for the group.

Development of products based on knowledge of the genome clearly will not happen overnight. Nevertheless, Streetwatchers are predicting that the post-genomics story has enough legs to move the sector well past the summer months. The belief is that news of the gene map will spawn a wave of new investment to fund companies looking to add value to the data. Also, many predict that the personal component of the map . "everybody. s got a genome" . will bring a flock of retail investors into the sector.

Life after Clinton-Blair

The biotech industry rallied strongly in the second quarter, given the downward momentum on which the 13-week period began, fresh off of comments on the patentability of genetic discoveries by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair (see BioCentury Extra, Tuesday March 14).

After taking a 40 percent pummeling in March, the BioCentury 100 index added 15 percent in the second quarter, a gain second only to the performance of its big brother . the Amex Pharma index . which posted a 21 percent uptick, and easily outpacing the broader indexes in the quarter. Indeed, the NASDAQ Composite posting a 13 percent decline (see "Indexes", A7).

The

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