ARTICLE | Finance

Ebb & Flow

October 29, 2001 8:00 AM UTC

Big drug makers may be among the favorite whipping boys of both politicians and consumers these days, but their biotech siblings have been a favorite of investors since Sept 11. Last week's 8% gain in the BioCentury 100 puts the index up 35% over the past 5 weeks, and 10% above its pre-Sept. 11 levels. Biotech has had the sharpest rebound of all of the major indexes, by far outpacing the nearest competitor - the NASDAQ Composite - which is up 24% over the past five weeks and 4% above Sept. 10 (see "Updraft").

But that doesn't mean the public offering window is about to open. Isis (ISIP) did price its follow-on - raising $100 million through the sale of 5 million shares at $20 - but most market watchers don't consider the deal a sign that the markets are percolating. ISIP was selling into two watershed events: In August, it signed an antisense deal potentially worth more than $300 million with Eli Lilly(LLY) for metabolic and inflammatory diseases. And in October, ISIP announced that its ISIS 2302 inhibitor of ICAM-1 improved symptoms of active distal ulcerative colitis in a European Phase II trial (see BioCentury, Aug. 27 & Oct. 15). ...