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Five Top Rated Preventive Medicine Stocks

 December 29, 2008 10:11 PM

The accompanying table (click to enlarge) presents statistics and the top five rated companies in the ETF Innovators (ETFI) Preventive Medicine Index. The index includes U.S.-listed companies with market caps of $150M-$45B which are engaged in healthcare business segments including diabetes care companies such as Novo Nordisk (NVO), vaccine makers such as Nabi Biopharma (NABI), diagnostics companies such as China Medical (CMED), and lab services companies such as LabCorp (LH).

The Top 40 Rated companies have outpaced the overall market and benchmark ETFs over the past year with a nearly flat return of -0.2%, compared to losses of 27% for the Healthcare Sector SPDR (XLV), 39% for HealthShares Diagnostics (HHD), 17% for iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB), and 41% for the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY). The Preventive Medicine Index fared much better than the Emerging Diagnostics Index of companies with market caps below $150M, which declined by 61% in the past year.

The top five rated companies include vaccine developer Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), molecular diagnostics provider Sequenom (SQNM), radiation monitoring firm Landauer (LDR), molecular diagnostics + therapeutics developer Myriad Genetics (MYGN), and Rochester Medical (ROCM) – which offers a medicated Foley Catheter (ReleaseNF) designed to prevent urinary tract infections in hospital patients who require urinary catheterization.

Companies offering preventive medicine products and services such as diagnostics have bullish outlooks in 2009 and beyond as the new administration plans to focus on prevention such as cancer screening to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs by early detection of serious and costly diseases.

My largest long position from this index is AspenBio Pharma (APPY), with clinical trial results expected in 1-3 weeks for the world's first blood-based appendicitis screening test for humans, AppyScore, which will support a FDA 510(k) application shortly thereafter.

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