Biotech Sector Outperforming Within NASDAQ: Dendreon(DNDN),Idenix(IDIX) and Viropharma(VPHM) Soar

Biotech stocks are up again today ignoring the overall weakness in tech stocks. Among the notable movers today are:

follow link Dendreon (DNDN $41.15) broke out above 40 up 5.5% on heavy volume with high expectations for the May 2 Conference call and presentation of data at ASCO in June.

were to buy Lyrica Idenix (IDIX $4.30) up 12.5% after announcing a successful financing last week with JPMorgan selling 18.3M shares at $2.80 sh. Concurrent with this offering Novartis purchased 1,785,714 shares for an aggregate of $5M. In the critical HCV therapy market for new drugs, Idenix has a Phase IIb trial ongoing with IDX184, a nucleotide inhibitor plus IDX 375  a non-nucleoside inhibitor. Novartis is a long-term partner with Idenix including the HBV drug telbivudine. The 52 week range of the stock is $2.57-$6.11 so investors believe the financing is a positive development given the HCV portfolio.

go to link Viropharma (VPHM $21.00) was up 7% on heavy volume on no apparent news but a strong portfolio in orphan drugs with Cinryze and the antibiotic Vancomycin for treating C.difficile related disease both of which are on the market with Revenue estimates for 2011 at $429M.

Other biotech movers within the  NASDAQ 100 (down 0.54% due to tech stock weakness) are:

Celgene (CELG) up 0.7%, Vertex (VRTX) up 0.68%, Gilead (GILD) up 0.5%, Biogen (BIIB) up 0.5%,and Qiagen (QGEN)up 0.35%.

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