Dendreon releases death-eaters into biotech sector stocks

Wednesday's Dendreon nightmare turned into Thursday's biotech bloodbath. Sector stocks posted "particularly steep losses," said RTT News, dragging down the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index by 10.6% to an 8-month closing low. That matches the AMEX ^BTK drop.

Dendreon ended up losing almost two thirds of its market value. But the market plunge pulled down a broad mix of life sciences companies. And some were hit worse than others. Complete Genomics ($GNOM), for example, "picked a bad day to have a bad day," said Luke Timmerman in Xconomy. It lost more than a quarter of its value by reporting a revenue decline stemming from difficulty getting DNA samples needed for its sequencing of human genomes. But CEO Cliff Reid said he believes the company will be able to get the samples.

In addition, MedCity News uses North Carolina's BioCryst ($BCRX) to illustrate yesterday's domino effect among biotechs in what it calls the Dendreon-Provenge effect. The well-capitalized company, holding two years' worth of cash, took a 15% percent hit after describing "nothing remotely controversial" during a quarterly conference call, says Medcity News.

And the New York Times now details expectations and potential consequences for--rather than anticipation of--a dreaded double-dip economic recession akin to that of the early 1980s.

- see the RTT report
- here's the Xconomy piece
- here's the MedCity News article
- see the NYT story

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