NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 3, 2012) - The Biotech Industry has skyrocketed in 2012 as an increase in the number of new drug approvals has boosted investor optimism within the industry. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) have both gained over 25 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Biotech Industry and provides equity research on Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK).
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"In 2011, the U.S. FDA approved 30 new drugs, compared to 21 in 2010," S&P Capital IQ wrote in a note. "Through September 2012, the year-to-date total was 22. We see an improving trend for FDA first cycle review approvals and a rise in the rate of new drug approvals for rare diseases, which we think is helping to boost investor sentiment for the agency, after years of criticism stemming from inconsistency in making and communicating its decisions."
Another key factor in the Biotech Industry's success has been the "patent cliff" major pharmaceuticals have faced in 2012. Major drug manufacturers have looked to biotech companies to help offset major revenue losses from expiring patents as it is less time consuming than developing new drugs through R&D.
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With a diversified portfolio of enzymes that target the extracellular matrix, the Halozyme's research focuses primarily on a family of human enzymes that increase the absorption and dispersion of biologics. The company's pipeline addresses therapeutic areas, such as diabetes, oncology and dermatology that have significant unmet medical need.
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of serious diseases, with an initial focus on cancer. Shares of the company shave gained nearly 20 percent year-to-date.
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