Media Release

Source: Bioshares

Biotech Stocks Surge in June Quarter
Melbourne, Australia
Monday June 30 2003 6.00PM AET

"Australian biotech stocks surged ahead in the June quarter with the share prices of 43 companies increasing by more than 20 per cent," said Mr Mark Pachacz co-editor of Bioshares, Australia's independent biotech stock report.

"This has been the best quarter for Australian biotech stocks in over 2 years and there is a good chance the gains will hold up in the next two quarters" he said.

"The Bioshares Drug Discovery Index increased by 26 per cent in the June quarter and this compared well with this Nasdaq Biotech Index which posted a 32 per cent gain to a June 28 close" he said.

"Australia's listed drug discovery and development companies, pharmaceutical firms and biomedical product companies should benefit from renewed optimism for biotech stocks in the US. A key factor driving this trend is the efforts of the new FDA commissioner Mark McClellan to speed reforms in the world's most important drug approval agency" said Mr Pachacz.

The big gainers for the quarter included medical device company Eastland Medical Systems (+156%), anti-microbial developer Chemeq (+120%), non-coding DNA company Genetic technologies (+111%) and spray-on skin technology company Clinical Cell Culture (+104%).

Another noteworthy gainer was gene silencing technology company Benitec (+79%), which attracted attention at the recent international biotech business conference, Bio 2003 held in Washington last week.

More than $40 million was raised during the quarter. "This level of fundraising is a very positive sign for the sector and the companies that sought funds experienced very strong demand," noted Mr Pachacz.

The quarter concluded on a historic note as Ventracor announced the first human implant of its VentrAssist heart assist device in a trial at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. "While there is more validation of the device required before it is approved and made available, its implanting in a patient on Saturday represents a tremendous achievement for Australian biomedical science."

About Bioshares

Bioshares is weekly biotech stock report and is published by Blake Industry and Market Analysis Pty Ltd, a Melbourne-based research company that specialises in analysing companies in the healthcare and biotechnology sector.

To obtain a copy of the current edition of Bioshares, email David Blake at

For enquiries: David Blake, Bioshares Media Contact, +61 3 9326 5382

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