Nasdaq Biotech Index re-ranking for next Monday

Inside BIO Industry Analysis

Twice a year, in May and November, the NASDAQ OMX Group re-ranks the closely watched Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NBI). This Monday (May 23rd), six companies will be added to the Nasdaq Biotech index and two will be removed.

The additions are Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO), Columbia Laboratories (CBRX), ISTA Pharmaceuticals (ISTA), Pacific Biosciences (PACB) and Zalicus (ZLCS). The two companies to be removed from the NBI are Biodel (BIOD) and China Sky One Medical (CSKI). This will result in the index having 126 companies total, up from 122 today.

Of the eight or so requirements for index inclusion, two stand out: Biotech companies must have a market capitalization of $200M and have an average trading volume of 100,000 shares per day. To remain in the index, the company market capitalization must be $100M, with an average of 50,000 shares traded per day.

The re-ranking noted above should not be confused with re-balancing, which takes place every quarter (on the 3rd Friday of March, June, September, and December). More on the eligibility criteria and Nasdaq index methodology can be found  here.

For more about the added securities, see below:

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) is an innovative pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing important new treatments to patients with infectious disease. Achillion’s proven discovery and development teams have advanced multiple product candidates with novel mechanisms of action. Achillion is focused on solutions for the most challenging problems in infectious disease including hepatitis C and resistant bacterial infections. Website: www.achillion.com.

AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) is a cancer therapeutics company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing targeted therapies to impact patients’ lives. The company’s lead product candidate, tivozanib, is currently being investigated in a global, randomized Phase 3 clinical trial called TIVO-1 comparing tivozanib to sorafenib in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, as well as additional clinical studies in other solid tumor types. AVEO’s second most advanced product candidate, ficlatuzumab (AV-299), is a potent, functional anti-HGF/c-MET pathway antibody that is currently in Phase 2 clinical development. AVEO’s proprietary Human Response Platform(TM) is designed to offer the company a unique advantage in cancer drug development and has provided a discovery engine for multiple therapeutic targets. This approach has resulted in a promising pipeline of monoclonal antibodies against novel targets including HGF, ErbB3, RON, Notch and FGF. Website:  www.aveopharma.com.

Columbia Laboratories (CBRX) is developing products that utilize its novel bioadhesive drug delivery technologies to optimize drug delivery in a controlled, sustained manner. The Company has developed and sold six products for the U.S. market including CRINONE® (progesterone gel) for which Columbia receives royalties on annual net sales from Watson Pharmaceuticals. CRINONE is commercialized outside the U.S. by Merck Serono. Website: www.columbialabs.com.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals (ISTA) is a fast growing and the fourth largest branded prescription eye care business in the United States, with an expanding focus on allergy therapeutics. ISTA currently markets four products, including treatments for ocular inflammation and pain post-cataract surgery, glaucoma and ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. The company’s development pipeline contains additional candidates in various stages of development to treat dry eye, ocular inflammation and pain, and nasal allergies. Headquartered in Irvine, California, ISTA generated revenues of $156.5 million in 2010. Website: www.istavision.com.

Pacific Biosciences (PACB) has developed a novel approach to studying the synthesis and regulation of DNA, RNA and proteins. Combining recent advances in nanofabrication, biochemistry, molecular biology, surface chemistry and optics, Pacific Biosciences has created a powerful technology platform called single molecule, real-time, or SMRT™, technology. SMRT technology enables real-time analysis of biomolecules with single molecule resolution, which has the potential to transform the understanding of biological systems by providing a window into these systems that has not previously been open for scientific study. Website: www.pacificbiosciences.com.

Zalicus (ZLCS) is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops novel treatments for patients suffering from pain and immuno-inflammatory diseases. Zalicus applies its selective ion-channel modulation platform and its combination high throughput screening capabilities to discover innovative therapeutics for itself and its collaborators in the areas of pain, inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. Website: www.combinatorx.com.

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