Biotech Grows Up

This young industry is revolutionizing the business of drug discovery and is turning out real products and profits

You have to have a strong stomach to invest in biotechnology. Last year a few words from Tony Blair and Bill Clinton about making genes "freely available to scientists" took half the value out of the typical biotech stock within a month. Early this year, when Celera Genomics and the Human Genome Project said they would publish a working draft of the human genome (the full complement of human genes), biotech shares rallied briefly.

But they took another dive, in part because of news that the draft included fewer than 40,000 genes--about 60,000 short of the number expected. After Sept. 11,...

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