End Of Week Bio-Pharma Catalyst Trade And Watch List

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 |  Includes: AMRN, ARNA, ASMB, CLDX, MNOV, XNPT
by: StockMatusow

Below is an overview of what I feel are the catalyst trades with the most short term potential that I mentioned in some of my articles over the last week. I strongly feel all the stocks mentioned below have a great shot at seeing some nice short term price appreciation.

Celldex (CLDX) 5/3/12 pps: $4.03

Rindopepimut (CDX-110) for relapsed glioblastoma (GB) Phase 2;
CDX-011, Breast cancer drug candidate, Phase 2b Data to be released May 23. The company is not presenting the data at ASCO due to a clerical error.

The stock price has taken a bit of a hit because of this as shorts have seen this foul up as an opportunity to pile on. I feel they are going to get burned on this one if they hold their shorts too long. While missing the chance to present CDX-011 at ASCO is a small negative, investors will still receive the data on time, so this is really a minor blip being blown out of proportion. I would not feel all that comfortable holding a short too long in Celldex stock.

Celldex enrolled 120 patients with advanced breast cancer that over-expresses a protein known as GPNMB (confirmed by an independent test). The patients, all of whom no longer respond to currently approved treatments, are then randomized to receive either CDX-011 or physician's choice of treatment. The primary endpoint of the study is overall response rate.

If the data confirms, the stock price could really take off. In my opinion, the dip in price offers a nice opportunity for traders/investors to load up more shares at a discount. In another article I wrote, I stated that I feel by the time this data is released, the stock could see a price nearing $5.50 a share. 2 years go, Celldex stock rallied from $4.70 to near $10 a share during ASCO.

Amarin Corporation (NASDAQ:AMRN) 5/3/12 pps: $12.28

PDUFA date July 26, 2012 for AMR101 in patients with very high triglycerides. In another article I wrote, I misstated concerning AMR101, and compared it to Lipitor. This was erroneous on my behalf as Lipitor is used to mainly treat patients high cholesterol levels while AMR101 is more in line to compete with Lovaza, which also focuses on patients with elevated triglyceride levels. AMR101, if approved, should compete well in a market space well over 1 billion dollars. For a really in-depth, well written article here on Seeking Alpha that received an editor's pick recommendation, see this article written by SA author Iggy Igette.

Who knows where the Amarin stock price can go? Over $20 a share is certainly doable if all the data confirms on AMR101. The one drawback on AMR101 could be securing proper patent protection. Iggy covers Amarin well, so I am sure he would be able to better address this than I can.

Arena Pharma (NASDAQ:ARNA) 5/3/12 pps: $2.77

I remarked in a recent article of mine that I feel the Arena stock price should continue to move up ahead of The Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting on May 10, 2012. The stock saw a mini pull back up until Wednesday of this week before turning back upwards in price. This was to be expected as traders take profits from one run-up, often times swinging around short, covering, then going long, holding until a day or two before the catalyst event.

I also stated that I still believe the stock will see around $3 a share this week, and I maintain this view heading into the final trading session of this week today.

I am leaning towards Lorcaserin being approved this time around, but barely. At the very least, Arena makes for a very good catalyst trade. If you decide to gamble and hold through all the catalysts and the drug receives a favorable review from the EMDAC committee, the stock might see a price over $4 a share.

MediciNova (NASDAQ:MNOV) 5/3/12 pps: $3.36

MediciNova expects to release results from two clinical trials in the current second quarter with its lead drug candidate, MN-221, opening the door to a possible pivotal trial.

Phase 2B preliminary data of MN-221 for treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma is expected by the end of this month. MN-221 is used to treat asthma when patients see little to no benefit from standard inhalers.

Expected in June is the data from a Phase Ib multi-dose trial in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). MNOV has double catalysts upcoming it appears. Positive results from these studies could lead to a possible pivotal trial if the trials confirm the success of the prior phase 1 studies, and certainly should lead to a partnership with a large pharma in my strong opinion.

Ventrus Biosciences (VTUS) 5/3/12 pps: $9.44

Ventrus expects to release Phase 3 data due by May 15th, 2012 from Phase 3 European trial of VEN 307 (diltiazem cream) for anal fissures.

Anal fissures are small tears or cuts in the skin that lines the anus. They can be extremely painful, cause bleeding and often require surgery, which itself can be really painful.

It is estimated that there are currently up to 4.3 million cases in the U.S. Currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of pain associated with anal fissures. While Ventrus has not garnered a lot of market attention because the company does not engage in cancer treatment types of drugs, a first in class treatment for anal fissures could bring the company a small gold mine in revenues. I like what I see with this company and might write a feature article on it soon. With a market cap under $120 million, Ventrus appears to be grossly undervalued at this time.

Two companies to watch:

Xenoport (XNPT) 5/3/12 pps:$4.41

Xenoport has a PDUFA date of 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.

The chart looks to be setting up nicely for a run to occur with Xenoport in the next few days.

Antares Pharma (AIS) 5/3/12 pps: $3.06

I have written several articles on Antares and have held a large block of shares in the company since last summer. I still believe based on many factors that the company will be bought out sooner than later, and give some of my reasons in a prior article I wrote. I also remarked in another article that I feel a deal might be coming soon with its Female rub-on contraception Gel product Nestragel.

Disclosure: I am long AIS, MNOV.