The biotechnology stock indexes continued to climb onThursday, with the AMEX Biotechnology Stock Index up 2.08 to137.68 and the Chicago Board Options Exchange BioTech Indexup 2.75 to 129.19.

Among the stocks on the rise was Vestar Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTR),up $1.50 a share to $14.25. David Webber, an analyst withAlex. Brown & Sons Inc. of New York, reiterated his "strongbuy" rating on Vestar in two reports Thursday. He based hisrecommendations on data on various competing liposomal-formulated amphotericin B drug candidates presented at the32nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents andChemotherapy (ICAAC) and on Germany's approval ofAmBisome, Vestar's version of the anti-fungal drug. Also,Fujisawa USA, the U.S. licensee for AmBisome, has imminentplans to file an investigational new drug application for U.S.clinical trials, Webber said.

Amgen Inc. stock (NASDAQ:AMGN) was up $2.38 a share to$60.63 as Dillon Read analyst Larry Bloom raised this third-quarter earnings and product revenue estimates because ofbetter-than-expected Neupogen and Epogen sales.

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