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Positive surprise in the biotech sector

In this difficult environment the good performance of the biotech sector is one of the very few positive surprises. The Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of the biotech company Scios has drawn the investor’s attention to this sector.

Fernando Luque 17.03.2003
Investor sentiment

From the beginning of the year (as of the 12th March 2003) the MSCI World Index Pharmaceuticals fell an 8,9%. In dollar terms a slightly better performance than the whole market (the MSCI World Index dropped a 10,3% also in dollar terms). But during this same period the MSCI World Index Biotechnology surprisingly registered a gain of 4,9%.

There are several reasons explaining the relative good performance of the biotech companies during these last weeks. First the North American giant Johnson & Johnson announced in early February the acquisition for 2.4 billion dollars of Scios, a biotech company whose flagship product is Natrecor (for cardiovascular treatment). Scios climbed an impressive 33% during February.

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Fernando Luque

Fernando Luque  es el Senior Financial Editor de www.morningstar.es