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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

[Biotechnology] Bird Flu Fear Mounting

Bird Flu Panic Again In the beginning of November, 2005 we began to covered bird flu related stocks such as Tamiflu makers and bird flu vaccine makers. The hype on these stocks last for few weeks and then began to cool off as the day traders began to focus on other buzz making stocks. However the risk of the global outbreak of the deadly virus actually has increased as now not only just Asia but also European countries such as Russia, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany have found cases of birds death causing by H5N1 bird flu virus.

Although on the other side of the ocean US and countries in the North, Central and South America continent are off the hook of the deadly virus, biologists in Alaska and Canada are predicting the flu could reach our homeland this year. As the fear of global bird flu outbreak resurfaces stocks related to the flu are back to the spotlight such as vaccine maker Novavax(NVAX) which went from $4.2 in Februay 14 to as high as $6.15 on February 28, a 46% gain in just two weeks. Other big winner includes vaccine maker MedImmune(MEDI) which went from $32.5 in early February to as high as $37 at the end of February, a 14% gain in less than a month.

Beside these two vaccine makers, there are other bird flu vaccine makers which we have covered before such as Chiron(CHIR), Novartis(NVS), Sanofi-Aventis(SNY) and Glaxosmithkline(GSK). Today lets take a look at other bird flu related stocks which we have not yet covered:

  • Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (HEB): two drugs that the Philadelphia, PA based biopharmaceutical company produces, Ampligen and Alferon, show potential in fighting the bird flu strain H5N1. After the company unveiling the report, its stock surged as much as 15% the next day from $2.66 per share and was closing at $3.33 today, gaining 25% since the announcement.
  • Generex Biotechnology Corp. (GNBT): the Toronto, Canada based drug delivery systems maker had a positive meeting with FDA over its drug development plan on a potential bird flu vaccine. The positive news helped the stock surged as much as 21% the next day from $1.41 per share. The stock is now trading at $2.31 per share, soaring 63.8% since the announcement.
  • AVI Biopharma Inc. (AVII): the Portland, Oregon based biopharmaceutical company in January announced that its influenza treatment drug Neugene looks effective in fighting avian flu. The report send the stock from $5.89 in the previous session to as high as $8.88 the next day, elevated more than 50%. The stock is now trading at $7.47 per share, about 27% higher before the positive news.


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