NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 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 Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (
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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Astex Pharmaceuticals is a leader in innovative small-molecule therapeutics with particular expertise in fragment-based drug discovery, the most important advance in discovery chemistry in the last 20 years. Their primary areas of focus are oncology and hematology. The company's net income grew to $4.5 million in fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a net income of $220,000 in the year ago quarter.
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., having developed the world's first approved stem cell drug, Prochymal, is the leading stem cell company. The company is focused on developing and marketing products to treat medical conditions in inflammatory, cardiovascular, orthopedic and wound healing markets. Shares of the company have nearly doubled in the past year.
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