Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Meirav Chovav initiated coverage on the bustling biotechnology industry today, starting 20 of the industry's biggest names. She covers both therapeutics companies that produce treatments, therapies and drugs and genomics companies that scour the genetic code for trouble-making genes.
This morning's call is especially timely because of recent news from
, which recently announced it mapped the entire human genome. Upon completing its research, Celera discovered that the human genome was made up of a mere 30,000 to 40,000 genes. Rival
Human Genome Sequencing Consortium
, an academic endeavor funded largely by the
National Institute of Health
Wellcome Trust of London
, agreed and announced very similar results in a paper of its own.
These breakthroughs have roiled not only the scientific community, which estimated that the human genome could have as many as 140,000 genes -- but the business community as well. Now, the number of genes available to produce drugs is smaller and many companies that one claimed access to more than 100,000 genes will have to make some changes. This means Celera competitors
Human Genome Sciences
For the second day in a row, biotech stocks were stumbling pretty badly. The
American Stock Exchange Biotechnology Index
dropped 3%, with genomics companies taking the brunt of the blow. Chovav was not available to comment on the selloff. Here are her initiations with stock quotes for the notable losers:
- Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report: NEW strong buy; price target: $120.
Biogen: NEW hold; price target: $57. (Biogen down 4.8%.)
Chiron (CHIR) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $47.80.
Cor Therapeutics (CORR) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $33.80.
Genentech (DNA) : NEW strong buy; price target: $76.
Genzyme (GENZ) : NEW strong buy; price target: $82.90.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals (IDPH) : NEW strong buy; price target: $61.80. (IDEC slid 3.9%.)
Immunex (IMNX) : NEW hold; price target: $32.40.
Medimmune (MEDI) : NEW strong buy; price target: $63.
Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $40. (Neurocrine dropped 5.1%.)
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $91.
- Applied Biosystems (ABI) : NEW strong buy; price target: $103.
Celera Genomics: NEW buy; price target: $55.
Incyte Genomics: NEW hold; price target: $20.60. (Incyte fell 6.9%.)
Millennium Pharmaceuticals (MLNM) : NEW buy; price target: $41.30. (Millennium dropped 10%.)
Myriad Genetics (MYGN) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $72.10. (Myriad fell 7.8%.)
Orchid Biosciences (ORCH) : NEW buy; price target: $16. (Orchid dropped 9.8%.)