Biotech stocks were riding a wave of positive news today, as research breakthroughs from a couple of individual companies sent the sector higher. The
Nasdaq Biotech Index
rode the swell to a 3.2% gain, while the
Dow Jones U.S. Biotech Index
said this morning that it discovered the human gene responsible for high total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein levels in people who have suffered heart attacks at an early age. The news sent Myriad's stock higher by 9.9% to $77.45.
Human Genome Sciences
also made an announcement this morning that turned into a positive for the stock. The company said it received approval from the
Food and Drug Administration
to test the growth hormone
in a new investigational application. The company's stock tested prices above $74 before slipping back to $73.22, still up 4.6% on the day.
Strong sales of
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
biotech analyst Caroline Copithorne to raise her forecast for the company yesterday.
Banc of America's
Eric Ende also recently raised his estimates on the company. Idec, which has gained 21.8% in the last week, rose 5.6% to $72.87 today.
Thomas Weisel Partners
analyst Scott Greenstone raised his rating on
to strong buy from buy, saying that the "visibility of the company's growth has never been better." Affymetrix gained 9.3% to $49.20, but remains well below its 52-week high of $103.75.
Several other stocks within the sector also gained ground.
rose 10.9% to $16.29.
rose 8% to $44.05, while
posted a gain of 5% to $42.80.
hovered around the flatline, climbing 0.1% to $69.95.