Burrill Reports Biotech Hit By Market Jitters in July

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ -- "Biotech had to weather a bumpy ride in
the wake of nervous investors and skittish general markets," said G. Steven
Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company, a San Francisco based global leader in life
sciences whose principal activities are in Venture Capital, Merchant Banking
and Media.  "It was an unusual month to say the least with the Dow just
breaking through the 14,000 mark before falling dramatically to finish at
13,212 as weak economic data and ongoing credit concerns overshadowed more
positive news on the earnings front."
    The Dow closed the month down almost 1.5% and the NASDAQ down 2%.  The
Burrill Biotech Select Index held its own in July.  Helping the cause was
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which closed up 14% following a positive announcement
for its drug, telaprevir, or VX-950.  Interim data from an analysis of a
clinical trial that showed fewer than 10% of patients who had undetectable
levels of hepatitis C virus after completing 24 weeks of therapy had relapsed
by the end of 12 weeks of post-treatment follow-up.  Illumina, a recent
addition to the Burrill Biotech Select Index, also posted a healthy 12% gain
in its share price following second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street
estimates thanks to product sales that more than doubled during the period.
    Amgen's share price dropped 3% in July and they are down 21% in value
year-to-date as its blockbuster anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen continue to
come under pressure.  In July, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services
established new rules for patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia limiting
reimbursement for anemia drugs, including Amgen's Aranesp, for cancer
patients.  Genentech's shares also continue to languish, dropping 2% (8%
year-to-date).  The company made a $5 million milestone payment to ImmunoGen
Inc.  The payment comes as a result of Genentech starting a Phase II study of
cancer drug trastuzumab-DM1, which is in development for the potential
treatment of a potential treatment of HER2-expressing metastatic breast
    The Burrill Mid-Cap Biotech Index did show some signs of life in July
with a jump of 2.5% thanks to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s 59% increase in
its share price.  This dramatic surge in price was driven by the company's
recent alliance with pharma heavyweight Roche, which could be worth as much as
$1 billion.  The deal gives the Swiss pharma access to Alnylam's technology
platform for developing treatments based on ribonucleic acid-mediated
interference.  Roche expects to start the first clinical trials with
RNAi-based drug candidates within two years.  These first human trials
probably will aim at developing drugs for asthma and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease.
    Alnylam also forged a deal with medical technology company Medtronic Inc.
Under the terms of the agreement, Alnylam and Medtronic will focus on
developing a drug-device combination for the treatment of Huntington's, an
inherited disorder characterized by abnormal body movements.  The product is
expected to consist of a RNAi therapeutic, targeting the Huntington's disease
gene, that will be delivered by Medtronic's implantable infusion pump.
    IPOs slow
    It was a slow month for biotech IPOs with only ImaRx Therapeutics, which
is developing novel therapies for vascular disorders associated with blood
clots, pricing 3 million shares at a revised price of $5 per share.  The firm
originally filed to offer 3 million shares at a price range of $6.50 to $7.50
per share.  The company's shares closed the month at $4.71.
    Although RNAi has been hot of late attracting significant deal making by
big pharma, it didn't help the cause of Quark Pharmaceuticals, which develops
RNA interference-based treatments for chronic and acute diseases.  The company
withdrew its filing for IPO on late July citing market conditions.  On the
plus side, three companies added themselves to the IPO runway:

    -- WuXi PharmaTech, a China-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology
       research and development outsourcing company. The firm plans to offer
       13.2 million ADSs, including 3.2 million from selling shareholders, at
       a price range of $11 to $13 per ADS.

    -- Archemix, a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing
       and commercializing aptamer therapeutics.

    -- Talecris Biotherapeutics, which manufactures plasma-derived protein
       therapies to treat both chronic and acute diseases and disorders.
       Talecris hopes to raise $1 billion from the offering, which, if
       successful, will make it the largest biotech IPO ever.
    Industry Market Cap
    The collective market cap of the biotech industry dropped another 5.4% in
July to close at $453 billion. Since hitting a record setting $513 billion at
the end of April, the industry's market cap has slid 11.9% since that time.


    Index                       12/29/2006   3/30/2007   4/30/2007  

    Burrill Biotech Select        303.96      317.03      325.67      331.15

    Burrill Large Cap Biotech     424.56      419.97       443.75     446.72

    Burrill Mid-Cap Biotech       171.55      179.02       182.86     175.81

    Burrill Small Cap Biotech      143.6      144.44       155.83     147.11

    Burrill Genomics              101.69      107.98       103.44      99.06

    Burrill IPO                    63.33       63.33        64.88      61.69

    Burrill AgBio                 124.52       141.8     147.31     156.46

    Burrill Industrial            150.85      148.59       152.65     160.23

    Burrill Diagnostic            122.79      136.76       141.64     142.82

    Burrill Nutraceutical         629.56       639.2       629.01     619.22

    NASDAQ                       2415.29     2421.64      2525.09    2604.52

    DJIA                        12463.15    12354.35     13062.91   13627.64

    Russell 2000                  787.66      800.71      829.7     847.18

    Amex Biotech                  754.25      764.18       814.57     825.22

    Amex Pharma                   345.06      342.01       366.35     364.29

                                                              %          %
                                                             change     change
                                 6/29/2007   7/31/2007       Month      Year

    Burrill Biotech Select         319.5      319.81       0.10%       4.96%

    Burrill Large Cap Biotech     409.56      410.71       0.28%      -3.37%

    Burrill Mid-Cap Biotech       183.23      187.88         2.54%      

    Burrill Small Cap Biotech     142.06      130.12        -8.40%    

    Burrill Genomics               91.68       86.85        -5.27%    

    Burrill IPO                    48.99       46.92        -4.23%    

    Burrill AgBio                  171.3      161.38        -5.79%     

    Burrill Industrial            163.99      160.53        -2.11%      

    Burrill Diagnostic            149.77      153.09         2.22%     

    Burrill Nutraceutical         613.86      597.97        -2.59%     

    NASDAQ                       2603.23     2546.27        -2.19%      

    DJIA                        13408.62    13211.99        -1.47%      

    Russell 2000                   833.7       776.1        -6.91%     

    Amex Biotech                  779.49      756.83        -2.91%      

    Amex Pharma                   349.75      334.77        -4.28%     

For further information:

For further information: Peter Winter, Editorial Director of Burrill
Life  Sciences Media Group, +1-415-591-5474, peter.winter@blsmg.com Web Site:

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