Bio Bubble

More anxiety for frazzled biotech investors. Biogen's new interferon beta-1a drug in trials appeared to delay dramatically the progression and reduce attacks of multiple sclerosis. Wall Street pushed Biogen shares up $5.50 on Oct.7, to $54.75, and shaved $1.38 off rival Chiron, which sells a related drug called Betaseron. An odd reaction: Even if Biogen's product is better, it won't be on the market for two years at best. In the meantime, says consultant Cynthia Robbins-Roth, Biogen's study reinforces the value of Betaseron. By Oct. 12, investors seemed to agree. Chiron recovered $4 to $65; Biogen sunk back to $50.

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