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Analyst Sees Obama Appointees as Favorable to Increased NIH Genomics Spending

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Leerink Swann analyst Isaac Ro released a research note on Tuesday saying that he views the recent science advisors appointed by President-elect Barack Obama as a sign that the incoming administration “continues to take steps favorable to improved NIH funding, particularly for genomics-based research.”
As reported Monday, Obama selected Broad Institute Founding Director Eric Lander and former NIH Director Harold Varmus to serve as co-chairs for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
“We think increased funding in favor of high-density genotyping and next-generation sequencing is now more likely to continue under the Obama Administration, thanks to these appointments,” Ro wrote. He added that while life science tool firms will benefit to some degree from increased NIH funding, “we think investors should continue to stick with names closely levered to NIH funding and genomics research.”
Ro recommended two firms in particular that would benefit from a better-funded NIH: Illumina and Life Technologies. He currently has “Outperform” ratings on both firms.
Two weeks ago, Leerink Swann downgraded several firms in the life science tools space and lowered its 2009 revenue estimates for some as well, citing a survey that found that around two-thirds of university-based life science researchers are seeing reductions in their budgets.

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