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Genomics stocks soar amid high hopes for profitable innovations; Biotechnology


SAN FRANCISCO -- Genomics stocks soared yesterday -- led by PE Corp.'s Rockville-based Celera Genomics Group, Diversa Corp. and Sequenom Inc. -- amid hopes that discovery will lead to breakthrough new products, bringing huge profits to companies that help make such discoveries possible.

The field of genomics is the discovery, analysis and manipulation of genetic information to help develop drugs, agricultural products and industrial processes.

While genomics stocks soared at the end of last year and early this year, they have been falling since last month amid concerns they rose too fast. Investors have been worried that it is too soon to say which companies in the field will profit from scientific advances.

The rally in genomics stocks helped lift the 17-member Amex Biotechnology Index by 14 percent, its biggest-one day percentage increase in nine years. Three of the four biggest gainers in the index were genomics stocks -- Celera, Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences Inc.

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