NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 7, 2013) - A sharp increase in drug approvals and mergers and acquisitions combined to create a bull market for the Biotechnology Industry in 2012. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) and the First Trust Amex Biotechnology Index ETF (FBT) have all gained over 20 percent in the past year, outperforming the broader markets by a good margin. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Biotech Industry and provides equity research on Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) and Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: THLD).
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Bloomberg recently reported drug approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reached a 15 year high in 2012. The FDA approved a total of 39 novel medicines last year, an increase of 30 percent when compared to a year ago. Oncology drugs lead the way with 11 new drugs approved last year. Over the last ten years the number of FDA approvals had averaged roughly 23 a year. The passage of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) played a major role in the sharp increase in approvals.
The PDUFA "has provided critical resources for improving the quality and timeliness of premarket review of drugs," said FDA spokeswoman, Sandy Walsh. "These accomplishments could not have been achieved without the innovations of the biopharmaceutical industry and the dedication and skill of FDA's drug review staff."
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Nektar Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of drug candidates that utilize its PEGylation and polymer conjugate technology platforms, which are designed to improve the benefits of drugs for patients. Its product pipeline consists of drug candidates across a number of therapeutic areas, including oncology, pain, anti-infectives, anti-viral and immunology.
Threshold is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of cancer therapeutics based on a novel and powerful approach of targeting tumor hypoxia. Hypoxia, or severe oxygen deprivation, is characteristic of virtually all solid tumors as well as the bone marrows of patients with some hematologic malignancies.
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