A BURST OF ENTHUSIASMTop-tier biotech stocks led a price surge among bioscienceshares Thursday despite a broad fallback in other marketsectors.

The AMEX Biotechnology Index jumped 7.82 to 157.59. Large-capitalization stocks in the index all moved broadly. Biogen Inc.(NASDAQ:BGEN) rose $1.63 to $25.13, Chiron Corp.(NASDAQ:CHIR) $1.88 to $51.38, Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ:GENZ)$3.38 to $48.75, Immunex Corp. (NASDAQ:IMNX) $1.25 to $31,and Synergen Inc. (NASDAQ:SYGN) $2.25 to $44.50.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) gained $1.75 to $59 afterChairman and CEO Gordon Binder told a London investmentconference that he was comfortable with Street estimates of $1billion in revenue this year.

Xoma Corp. (NASDAQ:XOMA) added $2 to $22.25 on 2.1 millionshares. Speculation about FDA product approvals has boostedthe stock $4.37 this week.

Cowen & Co. analyst David Stone told his traders Thursday that"biotech stocks valuations look attractive at these levels. Atcurrent prices, we believe that biotech valuations appear tohave bottomed from recent near-cash value levels."

Stone wrote that Genzyme, Chiron, Amgen, Cephalon Inc. andVertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. held the strongest potential fornear-term appreciation, based on earnings and "solid valuationtriggers." Cephalon (NASDAQ:CEPH) fell 25 cents to $10 andVertex (NASDAQ:VRTX) was unchanged at $10.50.

Deprenyl Research Ltd. was the other most active stock, rising13 cents to $8.88 on 2.1 million shares (NASDAQ:DEPLF). Thecompany said it attributed the volume to selling by funds,including a block of 514,000 shares. Deprenyl said it had noother fundamental business developments to report.

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