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Compugen Shares Soar in December; Helicos Falls

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of Compugen rose around 73 percent for the month of December to lead all stocks in the GenomeWeb Daily News Index.

Compugen was one of three stocks in the Index to gain more than 20 percent for the month. The other two were Exact Sciences, which climbed 30 percent, and Affymetrix, which rose 23 percent.

Helicos Biosciences had the sharpest drop among the seven stocks that lost value during December. Helicos declined 32 percent, while shares of Accelr8 fell roughly 24 percent.

Two pieces of news were the primary forces behind Compugen's strong surge in late December. First, it announced that it will screen peptide candidates for three Pfizer drug targets. Then a week later its shares spiked again after it announced that it had a new drug target for multiple epithelial tumors using its Monoclonal Antibody Targets Discovery Platform.

Exact's shares rose after investment bank Robert W. Baird initiated coverage of the firm with an "outperform" rating. Meanwhile, shares of Affymetrix climbed after one if its partners, TessArae, received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for its 2009 H1N1 Influenza A assay. That assay was developed through Affymetrix's MyGeneChip Custom Array Program.

Shares of Helicos tumbled in mid-December, after the firm announced that it had priced a registered direct offering of 6.4 million units at $1 per unit, well below its closing price of $1.37 the day the offering was priced.

Overall, the GWDN Index, which includes the shares of 33 companies, increased 4 percent for the month of December. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 percent, the Nasdaq rose 6 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index climbed 4 percent.

Note: Decode Genetics was removed from the GWDN Index, following the firm's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.