SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

November 18, 2011 08:16 ET

Low Valuations for Sequenom and Marina Biotech Shares Spark Investor Interest

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Sequenom & Marina Biotech

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 18, 2011) - Despite disappointing third quarter results for some of biotechnology's up-and-coming stars, there is plenty of optimism in the industry. According to Lipper Inc. healthcare and biotechnology stock funds are up 17 percent this year and 35 percent over the past 12 months. Healthcare stocks underperformed during last year's market rally, and Andy Oh, research analyst and portfolio manager of the Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals Fund argues that investors are embracing the "cheap valuations in health care stocks." The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the biotechnology industry and provides equity research on Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) and Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

The increase in M&A activity in the healthcare sector is yet another reason investors are once again taking a close look at biotech stocks. Michael Gregory, portfolio manager of the Highland Long/Short Health care Fund argues that "acquisitions are needed to fuel growth" as government intervention suppresses growth in larger firms. Moreover, Big Pharma companies are about to face the largest patent expiration cliff in the industry's history and will need to fill the gap of lost income.

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Sequenom recently announced that their Down syndrome prenatal test will be on the market in many US cities after a delay of about two years. The test, which can be taken as early as 10 weeks into pregnancy, is designed to identify the genetic abnormality that is the main cause of Down syndrome.

Sequenom reported total revenues of $13.6 million for the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 16% compared to revenues of $11.7 million for the third quarter of 2010.

Marina Biotech is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals based on RNA interference (RNAi). In the third quarter the company signed a license assignment agreement with Hoffmann-La Roche which provided MRNA with a sizeable one-time inflow of non-dilutive cash.

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