Q1 2009 Biotech Roundup: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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 |  Includes: ACOR, ARNA, CVTX, GILD, GSK, IDEV, ITMN, LJPC, MAPP, OREX, OSIP, OSIR, RHHBY, SHPG, SNTA, TARG, ZGEN
by: Mark Cifra

Now that the first quarter of 2009 has ended, I took a look back at some of the news that moved the stocks in the sector, and as usual with the biotech sector, there definitely wasn't a lack of newsflow. I decided to breakdown the newsflow into three categories, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh and full disclosure, I'm a big fan of the Clint Eastwood movie with the same title.

The good: January 6, Indevus (IDEV) up 70 percent on news of a buyout by Endo, January 7, La Jolla (NASDAQ:LJPC) up 80 percent on news of a partnership with Biomarin, January 13, Targanta (TARG) up 80 percent on news of a buyout by The Medicines and Zymogenetics (ZGEN) up 27 percent on the news of a partnership with Bristol Myers, February 3, Intermune (NASDAQ:ITMN) up 37 percent on positive phase 3 data for Pirfenidone in IPF and OSI pharmaceuticals (OSIP) up 16 percent on positive Tarceva data, February 24, Acorda (NASDAQ:ACOR) up 20 percent on buyout rumors, March 6, Genentech (Private:DNA) up 11 percent on Roche raising their bid for the company and on March 12, CV Therapeutics (CVTX) up 31 percent on news of a buyout by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).

The bad: January 9, Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX) down 16 percent on news of weak data for their obesity drug Contrave, February 19, Biomarin (NASDAQ:BMRN) down 32 percent on weak earnings and guidance, March 27, Osiris (NASDAQ:OSIR) down 21 percent on weak data for their crohn's disease drug Prochymal, March 30, Arena (NASDAQ:ARNA) down 28 percent on news of weak data for their obesity drug lorcaserin, and March 31, Acorda (ACOR) down 20 percent on news that the FDA rejected their NDA for Fampridine-SR.


The ugly: February 9, Viropharma (VPHM) down 60 percent on news that their drug Maribavir for CMV fails in a phase 3 trial, February 12, LaJolla (LJPC) down 92 percent on news that their drug Riquent for lupus fails in a phase 3 trial, February 24, MAP Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MAPP) down 76 percent on news their drug Budesonide for asthma fails in a phase 3 trial, February 27, Synta (NASDAQ:SNTA) down 80 percent Elesclomol for melanoma fails in a phase 3 trial, and on March 9, and Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) down 68 percent on news their drug Albuferon for HCV fails in a phase 3 trial.

Disclosure: long ITMN, long ARNA