NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 13, 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 StemCells, 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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StemCells is applying its scientific and industry leadership in stem cell biology to discover, develop and commercialize breakthrough therapeutics and enabling tools and technologies for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery. Shares of the company soared Tuesday after reporting the first patient cohort in the Company's Phase I/II clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC product showed persisted gains in sensory function 12 months after stem cell transplant.
Shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology spiked sharply Tuesday after reporting Palifosfamide, a treatment for metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, reached its target number of progression-free survival events in a recent Phase 3 trial. The company has announced that it will report the results from the trial during the last week of March 2013.
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