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London Stock Exchange Launches techMARK Mediscience: The World's First Market For Healthcare Companies

Date 02/11/2001

Today, on the second anniversary of techMARK™, the London Stock Exchange launched a new market: techMARK mediscience™, London's international market for healthcare companies.

The market includes all 48 London-listed companies from the biotechnology, specialist pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery and medical technology industries and is supported by a new index from FTSE, the index provider.

techMARK is already the most successful technology and growth market in Europe. Building on this success, techMARK mediscience is the latest in a range of Exchange initiatives that focus attention on different parts of London's markets by highlighting their common attributes.

techMARK mediscience was developed in response to customer demand, with the support of industry participants and the BioIndustry Association (BIA). It provides a focal-point for the industry, filling a gap in the market by raising the profile of healthcare companies and also demonstrates the Exchange's commitment to the ongoing development and promotion of techMARK.

Martin Wheatley, the Exchange's Deputy Chief Executive, said: "The mediscience industry attracts a lot of interest - from issuers, investors, intermediaries and the media alike. By providing focus, techMARK mediscience will draw liquidity to this new market and make investment decisions easier.

"The launch today is a clear example of the Exchange's commitment to techMARK. Once again, it shows London responding to customers' needs and acting as a world-leader in the development of equity markets."

The initiative has wide support from the industry. Paul Drayson, Chairman of the BIA said: "The establishment of techMARK mediscience reflects the success of this important sector: the London market for healthcare companies has outperformed both NASDAQ Europe and the Neuer Markt over the past two years and has the highest growth of any European healthcare market this year. The industry is by far the largest investor in R&D in the UK, and with 50 % of the world's diseases still with no cure, the companies represented by techMARK mediscience have much to offer the investor."

FTSE's new index will create further interest and investor visibility for the new market. Donald Keith, FTSE Managing Director for Europe, said: "FTSE believes in innovation and is committed to developing indices to support initiatives like the London Stock Exchange's new healthcare market, techMARK mediscience."

The visibility of techMARK mediscience will be further raised and maintained through a dedicated website, promotional materials and events. Close Fund Management also plan to source investors for a fund to track this new market. Commenting on the new techMARK mediscience initiative, Richard Bolchover, Director at Close Fund Management, said: "The techMARK mediscience initiative is an exciting move and follows on from the success of techMARK. We are well placed to offer potential investors long-term growth from such an investment."