Big year predicted for biotech firms

The biotechnology sector is set for a big year in 2004, following strong investor support in 2003, according to the latest Bioshares report. Up to 10 more floats are expected including those of Portland Orthopaedics and Proteome Systems. Other companies such as Metabolic Pharmaceuticals and Agenix will complete trials which have the potential to further lift the sector. The Bioshares report says $500 million was poured into drug trials and products developments by investors in 2003, with the smaller biotechs gaining support as they were undervalued. Two thirds of biotechnology and healthcare companies made positive gains in 2003.