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Life Sciences Report  

  • 3 Biotechs That Could Change Medicine Forever: Wasatch Analyst Jill Wahleithner
    Thu, Mar. 26 ARGS, INO, RHHBY 6 Comments

    Summary

    • The U.S. Supreme Court definitely has impacted what is patentable and what is not patentable.
    • Failures have allowed immunotherapy companies to fine-tune their processes.
    • In the next two to three years, we are going to see whether we really can fix diseases by driving the body to do the repairs.
  • How ARM's Edward Lanphier Is Fighting For Cell Therapy Cures That Save Patients And Portfolios
    Fri, Mar. 20 ATHX, BLUE, JUNO 2 Comments

    Summary

    • We endeavor to go beyond treatments and disease management to curative outcomes.
    • Partnership payments from big pharmaceutical and biotech companies represent validation of the increasing maturity of these technologies.
    • Lawmakers appreciate that these approaches could be "one-and-done" - long-lasting, curative therapies that will result in enormous savings in healthcare dollars.
  • Will Stem Cell Profits Measure Up?: NxR Biotechnologies' Alain Vertès
    Thu, Mar. 19 ATHX, CHGCF, PFE 7 Comments

    Summary

    • The market is still not valuing stem cell programs and companies fairly; this is a very exciting time for proposed stem cell therapies.
    • Hopefully, with the accelerated pathway we're seeing in Japan, novel therapeutics will take a lot less time to get to patients.
    • A historic look at monoclonals is an insightful way to understand the stem cell industry, in the sense that it took about 25 years for monoclonal antibodies to emerge.
  • Griffin Securities' Keith Markey Thinks These 5 Stocks Have Substantial Upside
    Fri, Mar. 13 XON, ZIOP, UNIS 7 Comments

    Summary

    • For a therapeutic molecule, understanding how it works in the cell and in the patient is absolutely necessary.
    • The type of therapy not only defines the pricing structure, but also identifies the potential competitive advantage.
    • If you see that the market is going gung-ho over a drug, you'd better think seriously about whether or not the company might be overbought.
  • How Alan Leong Of BioWatch News Keeps Successful Biotech Investing Simple
    Thu, Mar. 5 CELG, CFRX, CNAT 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Investors in biotech need to understand what we call the investable milestones well enough to know how they affect the relative valuation of a biotech company.
    • An investor has to have a certain amount of humility when approaching the science.
    • Whenever something goes awry with a biotech investment, try to do a postmortem.
  • How To Beat The Herd Mentality: Highline's Michael Higgins
    Thu, Feb. 26 ALKS, BAYRY, BDSI Comment!

    Summary

    • The analyst can push his or her agenda within the firm, or be left with working on an assembly line shoving out research that he or she didn't fuel.
    • The 'herd mentality' has been around longer than the market, and smart investors are always trying to take advantage of it.
    • Acting with the right level of conviction is one of the requirements for finding misplaced or mispriced securities.
    • We have a lot of smaller players that can be tightly focused on a few assets, which is what investors appreciate and will fund.
    • We have to watch out for the greedy upside of pricing power because it comes with an inevitable slaughter.
  • Immuno-Oncology Promises Continued Wealth And Health: LifeTech Capital's Stephen Dunn
    Fri, Feb. 20 CBMG, BLCM, BMY 3 Comments

    Summary

    • In 2015, the focus of the checkpoint inhibitor space will be on additional cancer types, beyond melanoma, as well as on collaborations and combinations.
    • The financial resources needed to develop an advantage in the anti-PD-1/PD-L1 space are now beyond the reach of most smaller biotechs.
    • The entire patent landscape in immuno-oncology is a bit murky at the present time, and developments on the legal front have the possibility of impacting stocks in the future.
    • Every researcher I've spoken with, at both large pharmaceutical and small biotech companies, believes these immune strategies will result in a quantum leap for cancer patient survival.
  • Bloom Burton's David Martin Zeroes In On Under-The-Radar Biotech
    Fri, Feb. 13 TRIL, AUPH, KHTRF 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Essentially, each biotech stock is a special situation, and should be treated as such.
    • The aging demographic is one factor driving the fertile market for new drugs.
    • The FDA seems to have settled into a groove that appropriately and efficiently weighs the need and risk of a drug under consideration.
  • Capture Growth With Baskets Of Biotechs: LifeSci Advisors' Andrew McDonald
    Thu, Feb. 5 IDRA, INFI, PRTA 6 Comments

    Summary

    • A lot of enthusiasm came out of the JPMorgan conference, with announcements from larger market-cap companies that get investors excited about the upcoming year's revenues, earnings and new product watches.
    • I'm extremely skeptical about early-stage, and even middle- to late-stage compounds.
    • If you own a group of biotech stocks as an ETF, the share price appreciation of the winners will outweigh the losers.
  • Watchlist Analysts Forecast Continued Blue Sky For Biotech Industry
    Thu, Jan. 29 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Overall, the biotech market looks like it will remain robust for the foreseeable future.
    • For products that are truly novel, we think you will tend to see premium pricing maintained.
    • With all the focus on immuno-oncology, the analysts were optimistic about the prospects for sustainable valuations among companies working in this field.
  • Convert Catalysts Into Profits: Sagient Research's Edward Stopke
    Fri, Jan. 23 ATHX, CLDX, CUR 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Product safety rulings can drastically affect the trajectory of a biotech stock.
    • I predict that during 2015 payers will force prices downward.
    • It is vitally important to understand the capital structure of a company.
  • Where Do Cures Reside? The Answer Is In Regenerative Medicine
    Fri, Jan. 9 IYH, XLV, VHT 1 Comment

    Summary

    • The new draft guidance provides greater clarity on the FDA's definition of minimal manipulation.
    • Over the next year or two, you will see a number of very significant data events around cell therapy.
    • More clarity and predictability in the cell therapy pathway would enable more products to move forward.
    • Infrastructure is going to be an important part of how these therapies are brought to the market, and to the patient.
    • We need changes to the reimbursement and payment systems, both public and private, to reward innovation.
  • Medical Marijuana Goes To Market: Daniel Pearlstein Of M Partners
    Thu, Jan. 8 AUPH, BMY, CYNAF 1 Comment

    Summary

    • I don't think it would be prudent for investors to assume that patents are bulletproof.
    • The new Canadian system allows physicians to write monthly medical marijuana prescriptions, just like any other drug.
    • Third-party validation is always a good place to see a checked box.
  • Will Biotech Fire On All Cylinders In 2015?
    Dec. 30, 2014 AZN, BMY, CELG 10 Comments

    Summary

    • In the biotech sector, Wall Street basically dictates what science receives support through the funding process.
    • Immuno-oncology will continue to be a red-hot space in 2015.
    • Companies working in the vaccine, antibiotic and regenerative medicine spaces look promising.
  • Cell Therapy 2015: With Maturity Comes Promise
    Dec. 24, 2014 AGEN, ATHX, INO 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Companies developing cell therapies must work with the FDA to develop pivotal trial designs that are "less stringent" than the double-blind model.
    • The big change in the landscape now is the acceptance that cell therapy is "safe."
    • The question of whether cell therapy companies can manufacture their products on a commercial scale must be addressed.
  • Doug Loe: Canada Has Earned Its Spot In The Biotech All-Star Team Photo
    Dec. 19, 2014 ACT, AGN, ALNY Comment!

    Summary

    • When returns are not achievable by blockbuster drug development, Canadian healthcare stocks generate them in niche healthcare markets.
    • Canadian healthcare has established itself as a sector meriting institutional client interest.
    • The Canadian life sciences space is an exceedingly eclectic one.
    • We have seen substantial returns and expect strong performance to continue in medical technology development.
  • Wedbush Securities' David Nierengarten On Genetic Cures For Disease: Impossible Dream Come True?
    Dec. 11, 2014 AGTC, BLUE, NPSP Comment!

    Summary

    • Right now—and in the foreseeable future—gene therapy is only going to be used in monogenic diseases.
    • The FDA hasn't established a regulatory pathway for making a virus to deliver a gene that will have a permanent, irreversible effect on the patient.
    • The safety database is a primary question that needs to be resolved for the FDA to approve gene therapies.
  • Brinson Patrick's Christopher S. James: All Catalysts Are Not Created Equal
    Dec. 5, 2014 BCRX, MNKD, RGLS Comment!

    Summary

    • Phase 2 proof-of-concept is where we start to see the inflection of share price, when value creation occurs.
    • Gauging the market potential and demand for the product must start very early in the drug development process.
    • Scale is a major challenge in the cell technology industries.
  • Rolling With Biotech's Regulatory Punches: Chen Lin
    Nov. 25, 2014 ACRX, BMRN, CELG Comment!

    Summary

    • To be successful, an investor must be nimble.
    • There are a lot of small-cap deals in the biotech realm; that makes management experience very important.
    • Management teams with a good vision can acquire some very good assets.
  • Investment Banker Dick Huebner On How To Uncover Micro-Cap Biotechs That Deliver On Promises
    Nov. 21, 2014 EXAS, MSLP, VNRX Comment!

    Summary

    • By quantifying the risk and potential reward, you can mitigate risk by investing less money in a riskier opportunity.
    • It's about holding management accountable for having deployed the capital provided in a financing as directed when soliciting the funds.
    • When determining a minimum level in a capital raise, we look at, and balance, the amount we believe we can raise and the needs of the company.
  • Thinking Differently About Ebola Virus Disease: WBB Securities' Steve Brozak
    Nov. 13, 2014 BCRX, CEMP, CMRX 6 Comments

    Summary

    • It is far more practical, far more efficacious, efficient and humane to deal with Ebola at its center, in West Africa.
    • People are making assumptions that there are drugs or products available today that will save the day. That is simply not factual.
    • H1N1 became the first instance where we could understand a threat and stop it using the infrastructure our government invested in.
  • Molecular Biology Meets Finance: MLV's George Zavoico On Ebola's Silver Lining
    Nov. 13, 2014 AGEN, ALXN, CERS 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Once it becomes evident that folks aren't going to be easily infected with Ebola under normal conditions, I expect people will begin to calm down.
    • We're seeing more investigational device exemption applications in compassionate use, some in blood-borne pathogens.
    • I think a lot of companies will use Ebola research to engender goodwill, and also to validate technology.
  • Biotech Watchlist Update: Small-Cap Biotechs Struggle, But Investors Remain Enchanted By Big Pharma's Returns
    Nov. 7, 2014 ANTH, BIND, CELG 3 Comments

    Summary

    • While large-cap pharma and biotech companies have rallied since a correction earlier in 2014, smaller companies are still playing catch-up.
    • Strong M&A and IPO activity points to continuing strength in the biotech sector.
    • In a stock-pickers’ market, selective stocks continue to stand out.
  • Japan Gives A Hug To The Cell Therapy Industry: R. Lee Buckler
    Oct. 24, 2014 ATHX, MEOBF, OSIR Comment!

    Summary

    • Most companies in the regenerative medicine industry have a tremendous desire to have a Japanese strategy.
    • With the change in the Japanese regulation, there is an appetite for regenerative medicine products in Japan that companies need to capitalize on.
    • The Japanese government is intentionally welcoming ex-Japan data for conditional market approval in Japan.
  • Griffin Securities' Keith Markey On The Promise Of RNAi And Synthetic Biologics
    Oct. 10, 2014 VCEL, BIIB, DNDN 1 Comment

    Summary

    • The risks associated with the stocks we follow are somewhat mitigated by diversification within a company's portfolio.
    • Synthetic biology has a long way to go to realize its full potential.
    • The benefits of an autologous cell therapy are that you don't have to worry about side effects or the inability of the drug to reach the appropriate target.
  • 3 Biotech Investment Ideas That Disrupt And Diversify: Anita Dushyanth
    Sep. 25, 2014 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Canada seems to be leading the world in biotechnology per capita.
    • If a company is well managed, it will get good strategic advice.
    • The value proposition that each company brings is unique.
  • Roadmap Capital's Hugh Cleland And Stephen Ireland: Due Diligence Rules In Biotech Investment
    Sep. 18, 2014 ACST, AMRN, BLUSF Comment!

    Summary

    • If investors are disciplined about taking capital off the table, they can take advantage of volatility and not be hurt by it.
    • Retail investors need to pick a therapeutic area in which they have a personal interest.
    • Partnerships with big pharma can add credibility to a small biotech story.
  • Biotechs With Upside Target Ebola And Liver Disease: MLV's Vernon Bernardino
    Sep. 11, 2014 BCRX, CNAT, DVAX 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Some of these experimental Ebola therapies work and come on board as approved products, the logistics of administering them are not going to be difficult.
    • The orphan space can mean hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to a billion-dollar opportunity.
    • If you position yourself correctly, you can buy a stock at the correct valuation, before the data points come out, and realize a nice return on investment.
  • Steve Brozak: Big-Picture Biotech Stocks Rule The Future
    Sep. 5, 2014 ADHD, CAH, CEMP 8 Comments

    Summary

    • We will see an increase in submissions from the pipelines because we are not seeing a tapering-off effect in the need for new drug approvals.
    • An astute investor would want to be looking at investments in baskets of antibiotic stocks, especially at their low capitalization prices right now.
    • The revenue that was previously safeguarded by the blockbuster model is disappearing more quickly than it has in the history of the industry.
  • Innovative Australian Companies On Canaccord Analyst Matthijs Smith's Opportunity List
    Aug. 28, 2014 BIND, CERU, CHEOF 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Australia has plenty of indigenous companies, but from day one, they look to play on the global stage.
    • Australian companies enjoy a generous research and development tax incentive.
    • Historically, in the Australian market, the big successes have been with medical devices.
  • Wedbush Securities' Liana Moussatos On The Art And Science Of Picking Biotechs With Upside
    Aug. 22, 2014 ALIOF, GALT, GNFTF 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Pick a sell price, whether it's below or above where the stock was purchased, and then be disciplined in selling.
    • The release of Phase 3 data can be a large catalyst. . .When you get a surprise with good data, that's when you see the biggest moves up.
    • Some long-term investors will hold on for long time frames... However, a lot of institutional investors look to Dec. 31, because that's when bonuses are determined.
  • Medtech Shifts From High Gear Into Overdrive: Canaccord's William Plovanic
    Aug. 20, 2014 ETRM, DXCM, PODD 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Wound care, obesity and diabetes are growth areas going forward, with almost epidemic proportions of these types of diseases affecting the U.S. and global markets.
    • I believe in the tangibility of these technologies. They're something you can hold in your hands.
    • I don't think the ACA has impacted investments in the medical device sector yet.