Inside Wall Street
BRAND-NAME SKIN AND BONE MARROW
With biotech stocks chalking up mighty gains, many fear that the red-hot industry may have peaked. Not so, says money manager Elizabeth Dater, who sees a number of "compelling" values among the industry's undiscovered companies. Dater, a managing director at E. M. Warburg, Pincus, is accumulating Marrow-Tech shares for her $38 million Counsellors Emerging Growth Fund.
At 13 3/4, Marrow-Tech has already doubled in the past two months. No matter, says Pincus: Marrow-Tech is an "attractive long-term holding for much larger gains in the next two to three years."
Marrow-Tech has patented its technology for culture replication of human tissues, including skin, bone marrow, and cells of certain organs. Dater says this technology has potentially broad medical and industrial uses, such as screening for toxicity of household, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products without using animals or humans. In September, the company signed an agreement giving the Belgian unit of Johnson & Johnson exclusive European marketing rights for its Skin2 toxicity-screening kits.
Marrow-Tech also plans to use its technology for skin replacement in burn victims and others suffering from skin diseases. "The market for skin replacement in burn victims is huge," says Dater, who figures the company will be profitable by 1994. She expects Marrow-Tech to do other joint ventures, which will likely culminate in some pharmaceutical giants taking sizable equity stakes in Marrow-Tech.GENE G. MARCIAL