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Ebb & Flow

The profitable biotech earnings season ended last week - with Cephalon (CEPH) and Qiagen (NMarkt:QIA; QGENF) posting results - and it was encouraging to see good news getting rewarded.

The profitable biotech group posted strong second quarter results: Of the 20 profitable product companies tracked by BioCentury, 13 beat the Street estimate, four met it, and three missed the mark (see ". . . And That's a Wrap," above).

Investors may finally be catching up to the numbers: the BioCentury 100 has gained 8% for the trailing five-week period since the earnings season kicked off. That compares to a 1% gain in the AMEX Pharma Index and a 10% loss in the NASDAQ Composite over the same period. The blue chips were also down, with the S&P 500 falling 8% and the DJIA losing 7%.

Investors appeared to be paying attention to earnings news from smaller cap companies, too.

United Therapeutics (UTHR) benefited from strong second quarter sales of its Remodulin for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). UTHR was up $1.53 (13%) to $13.63 on the week after adding $2.57 (24%) to $13.43 on 391,870 shares on Thursday's earning report. Second quarter revenues were $11.6 million, the majority from Remodulin, which the FDA approved in May, as well as from related infusion pumps and supplies.

Based on the number of reimbursable patients on the therapy, UTHR is pegging its annual revenue run rate at about $25 million. For the quarter, UTHR lost $3.2 million ($0.16) compared to a loss of $10.7 million ($0.53) in the 2001 quarter.

On the Continent, French drug development and services company Cerep (NM:Cerep) gained E0.50 to E12.70 on the week after reporting second quarter sales of E7.9 million, up 25% from E6.4 million in the same quarter last year. Operating profit was E374,000, up 5% from E355,000 last year.

The company has added in-house drug development to its activities and plans to license out compounds at Phase I while using

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