Yesterday in Chicago during the late breaker session of the ICAAC meeting, Sangamo (SGMO) announced preliminary data from a Phase I study of SB-728 in patients whose antiviral treatments were interrupted.
Here are just a few of the many headlines generated within just a few minutes of the presentation. Below each headline are relevant quotes contained within the articles.
Researchers Announce a Breakthrough on HIV/AIDS Treatment - MIT Technology Review
"A technique that alters T cells has been shown to reduce the amount of virus in infected people."
"We are seeing a statistically significant correlation between our treatment and viral load reduction. This is a big step forward toward our goal of developing a functional cure for the disease," says Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's founding CEO.
"The data obtained in our treatment interruption studies are very exciting and represent significant progress toward a 'functional cure' for HIV/AIDS," said Carl June, M.D.
Sangamo’s Blood-Cell Gene Therapy Fights HIV Without Drugs - Bloomberg - Business Week
“We see a significant anti-viral effect,” said Samgamo Chief Executive Officer Edward Lanphier in a telephone interview. “That’s the big punchline here.”
"We are very encouraged by both this early demonstration of an antiviral effect of SB-728-T as well as the marked improvement in the overall CD4+ T-cell counts in treated subjects in the SB-728-902 trial," said Ronald Mitsuyasu, M.D.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Entry into this stock in Monday's pre-market could prove to be quite lucrative over the next few days. There are approximately 7.7 million shares shorted out of a total float of 52.46 million shares and the shorts will be scrambling to cover their positions. This short squeeze could produce considerable upside in Monday's and Tuesday's trading. Average daily trading volume over the last three months has been 500,000 shares. Over the last ten days it has been 700,000 shares. Volume on Friday September 16, the last trading day prior to and in anticipation of this announcement was 1,000,000 shares. This news will continue to generate headlines for several days and I would watch for CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC to run spots on their national news.
I would be tempted to exit the stock this week at the first signs of an Exhaustion Top or Gap, which I don’t expect for several days excluding any market upheavals. The next catalyst for Sangamo is the release of the Diabetic Neuropathy study (SB-509) within the next two months. After the excitement of the current HIV SB-728 headlines wears off, the stock should start to trickle back down over the next couple of weeks.
It will again start to ramp up in anticipation of the release of this data and with good reason. Within weeks or quite possibly days of the release of successful Phase IIB data, I expect a major pharmaceutical partnership to be announced. This is not speculation on my part but a statement made many times by its CEO, Edward Lamplier, that there has been significant interest and discussions with potential partners surrounding its diabetic neuropathy program.
More information on its development plans will be released this Wednesday. Edward Lanphier will be providing an overview of the company’s business strategy and development plans for SB-728-T on at 7:30 am ET on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at the UBS 2011 Global Life Sciences Conference, which will be held in New York City. The presentation will be webcast live and may be accessed via a link on the Sangamo BioSciences website in the Investor Relations section under Events and Presentations.
Disclosure: I am long SGMO.