Bio-Pharma Catalyst Trades That Offer Decent Short-Term Gains

by: StockMatusow

Below I have listed a few bio-pharma catalyst trades I feel offer traders a good shot at some decent short term gains. I have written a full feature article on the last company on this list that I feel offers very high speculative long term multi-bagger opportunity.

GTX (GTXI) engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecules for the treatment of cancer, cancer supportive care, and other serious medical conditions.

Catalyst run-up mover: Run-up to FDA decision on trial resumption of its drug Capesaris. Capesaris is a prostate cancer drug that chemically castrates prostate cancer patients. GTX discovered larger dosages of the drug caused some side effects, including the increased risk of blood clots.

The company's plans to administer lower doses of Capesaris throughout the remainder of the trial to address the FDA's concerns before the trials can officially continue. The FDA will decide whether GTX has demonstrated its drug is safe enough to allow the phase II trial to continue in 30 days.

I have heard that some bigger money players are accumulating this stock for the run-up catalyst event.

Xenoport (XNPT) focuses on developing and commercializing internally discovered product candidates that utilize the body's natural nutrient transport mechanisms to enhance the therapeutic benefits of drugs.

Catalyst run-up mover: PDUFA 6/9/12 for sNDA of Horizant for post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).

Horizant utilizes naturally-occurring, high-capacity nutrient transporters in the gastrointestinal tract to generate active, efficient absorption into the body. Once absorbed, gabapentin enacarbil is rapidly converted into gabapentin, which binds to specific proteins that regulate neuronal activity, and is thereby thought to inhibit unnecessary excitatory neurological activity. Neuropathic pain is pain that results from damage to nerves. The damage may result from a variety of causes, including injury or illnesses such as diabetes, HIV and shingles.

In other words, Horizant is used to treat pain.

Horizon Pharma (HZNP) develops and commercializes medicines for the treatment of arthritis, pain, and inflammatory diseases.

Catalyst run-up mover: PDUFA 7/26/12 of LODOTRA, a proprietary modified delayed-release formulation of prednisone, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

Insiders have been buying up a lot of its company's shares. I recently sold Horizon as I reached my short term target price. I am considering trading it again. I do not have a lot of capital to commit to these trades as most of my capital is locked up in my top long term investment, Antares Pharma (AIS). I like Horizon quite a bit and believe it has longer term potential if LODOTRA gains approval.

Protalix BioTherapeutics (PLX) focuses on the development and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on its proprietary ProCellEx protein expression system in the United States.

Catalyst run-up mover: PDUFA 5/1/12 of Taligluerase for Gaucher disease.

Taligluerase is a plant cell-expressed recombinant glucocerebrosidase enzyme for the potential treatment of Gaucher disease. Protalix is partnered with Pfizer (PFE) for the exclusive worldwide commercialization of taliglucerase alfa in all territories, except in Israel, where Protalix has retained exclusive rights. Protalix completed the pivotal Phase 3 trial, and patients from the pivotal study were enrolled into an extension study, with some patients being treated for greater than three years. Taliglucerase alfa has been granted orphan drug designation by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency.

iBio (IBIO) engages in the development and commercialization of vaccines and therapeutic proteins through its proprietary technology, the iBioLaunch platform. Its product portfolio consists of seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines for the seasonal influenza virus strains; pandemic avian influenza vaccine for the pathogenic avian influenza viruses; and therapeutic vaccines for human papilloma virus.

Catalyst run-up mover: Protalix's PDUFA 5/1/12 of Taligluerase for Gaucher disease.

iBio is the only other known company with a listing on the American stock market with similar technology, and in my opinion, has more long term upside appreciation potential than Protalix. iBio's technology platform is named iBioLaunch. As Arena Pharma (ARNA) ties into Vivus (VVUS) because both companies are vying for their respective weight loss drugs to gain approval, so is Protalix and iBio. I have a feature article coming out where I get in-depth on why I believe iBio is a very strong speculative long term investment. If I had the money to commit to a long term speculative investment, I would with iBio. However, I am trading it looking for a short term price target of $1.70, and a catalyst run up target of $2.20.

Both iBio and Protalix are great platforms and the first breakthroughs in manufacturing and production in regards to flu vaccines for over 40 years.

However, iBio can produce almost all protein therapeutics where Protalix can't and Protalix can't produce vaccines currently. iBio's IP advantage is being able to circumvent patents held by competitors on the use of cells in isolation to produce recombinant proteins, because the iBio approach relies on transient expression of proteins in whole plants, and does not involve cultivation of cells in isolation, notwithstanding its desire to engage in biosimilar production.

iBio will benefit greatly from any PLX success in my opinion, as it will bring awareness to iBio.Protalix is obviously much closer to bringing its platform drug Taligluerase to the market, and having Pfizer as a partner brings extra share value as well.

Again in my opinion, iBio has the better tech in regards to the future, so I believe the longer term price appreciation will be greater with iBio. iBio sells for around $1.40 a share, whereas Protalix sells for over $6 for the reasons I mentioned prior. I have heard that bigger bio speculators have begun accumulating iBio for both the short term catalyst and long term speculation.

I have made a supplemental YouTube video of this article and my feature article on iBio which follows this article.

Disclosure: I am long IBIO, AIS.