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Matija Snuderl  

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  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    Marc, I think if they develop successful therapy for SSA or b-thalasemia, the company and payers will come to some agreement. With pushbacks from payers and so on. But keeping these patients alive is not for free either. Lifelong care of patients with these diseases is quite pricey. GILD and their Sovaldi pill is not the best comparison. The best companies to compare BLUE with, are JUNO, KITE and other CAR-T oncology companies. They use the same procedure as BLUE, take patient's cells out, modify the genome (for different purposes) and infuse the cells back into the body. Albeit for different purpose (killing cancer cells vs. making normal hemoglobin) the technology is relatively comparable. I doubt that BLUE will charge $1 mil. per patient. Scalability is the major issue and determines the price of facilities, reagents, people, simply the overhead costs. With number of patients in hundreds of thousands, we are not talking about a rare genetic disease, where $1 mil price tag is necessary to cover costs and make some profit. Btw. BLUE has one such disease in their pipeline, adrenoleukodystrophy. That will likely be pricey, since there is ~5-10 patients/year in developed world. For sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, they can really scale it up. The costs of modifying the genome in cells, in the dish are lower than injecting huge amount of the vector in the patient. The more relevant price is something similar to what JUNO and KITE will be charging for their anti-cancer therapy. I think the cost will be somewhere in the ballpark of the cost of autologous stem cell transplant at the end. Btw. both JUNO and KITE are ~ similar valuation as BLUE, and most analysts, and readers sort of ignore the fact that BLUE has partnered for oncology CAR-T development with the real juggernaut in oncology space, CELG. Since their technology seems to work quite well on patients' cells, I think we can expect big things in CAR-T arena from BLUE as well.
    May 25, 2015. 12:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    wow, if there only was a way how to distinguish those "wrong stocks" from those +700%/year stocks upfront, we would all be rich without work LOL
    May 23, 2015. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    it's patience, not luck that makes success in (biotech) stocks.
    May 22, 2015. 10:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    fair enough. Your point is valid and most timely for someone like me who is thinking whether to cash out gains or keep going. I had the same dilemma when it hit $100, but than didn't do anything because I was busy with other stuff, woke up one day, the stock was $150 and my dilemma even bigger :).I think the critical thing is, are we seeing a birth of a new BIg Biotech? GILD and CELG were not always $100 bil beasts... IMO, BLUE will be bought out if the next series of trials is convincing.
    May 22, 2015. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    Marc: I read your article carefully and I strongly suggest that you retract it and revisit the topic again with updated numbers. I am quite confident that you don't have much understanding about the bluebird technology, or genetics and gene therapy itself, which makes your thesis flawed in major way for biotech stock analysis. I suggest you read some summary on bluebird science first.

    I could dissect many details out, but the critical part is your claim that: "Gene therapy is curative for both the patient and future generations." You claim this will lead to elimination of the bluebird's market itself and have massive impact on potential revenues. This could not be more wrong and makes me question everything else you are saying.

    First, there are two types of mutations, somatic affecting non reproductive cells which constitute the body (including blood) and germline in sperm and ova, cells that give rise to children and propagate the mutation to future generations. There has NEVER been a gene therapy claiming that they can cure future generations by treating the patient. That's completely wrong. Most of the gene therapy companies insert the vector (carrying normalized gene) directly into the patient and hope it will land in the (somatic) cells and correct them. bluebird technology is different, very similar to CAR-T companies' strategy (and similarly appealing). They take patient's hematopoietic (blood making) cells out, insert the correct gene directly into them and return cells back. These (somatic) cells having normal gene, now make normal hemoglobin = cure. This would have ZERO effect on children of a treated patient and zero effect on decreasing the pool of future patients. Actually, in my opinion, the opposite will happen. Every cured patient will more likely live longer, have more children, some of them affected and "generate" more potential customers.
    You also have very strange idea about low-income patients getting no treatment for their condition... Even if bluebird charges $50.000 for a curative treatment in the US, it will be way cheaper for Medicare than life long therapies and expenses for these patients.
    So overall, your bearish thesis boils down to: "if you made a lot of money, cash out." Which on itself is not a bad advice considering high risks of any biotech. But since you don't know how the technology works, you don't know the science and how it will affect the patient population and potential market, I don't think your valuation models are close to anything relevant.
    May 21, 2015. 06:30 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bluebird Bio: Exit Strategy [View article]
    Marc, while you have a good point "if you've made a lot of money, take it and leave", I think you are missing the potential that bluebird's technology has on diseases in general and bluebird advantage in CAR-T therapies. This is not about how much money they cna make on sicle cell alone, but are witnessing the birth of the next GILD ($160bil market cap) or CELG ($92 bil market cap). In such case, 5 bil market cap is merely a beginning... No one knows and it's safe to say that you can pack your gains and leave. But IMO, the company that has actually working proof of principle for gene therapy in actua patients, and it is working (which it is) is just scraping the surface of its real potential. That's why all those big players are in, not only for the sickle cell. This is an interesting summary:
    May 21, 2015. 04:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    BuyersStrike: you should be adviser for FDA. I think they really don't know what they are doing granting Brilacidin the Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) status based on clinical trials results alone. I mean, you are so much more informed than they are and who knows what FDA based their decision on. Maybe Leo just smooth talked them into it....? A person so deeply educated in these matters and so unbiased could save many patients :).
    Jan 29, 2015. 09:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    These attacks at CTIX, Leo Ehrlich and Krishna Menon come in yearly cycles. Always the same recycled information: Leo is not a manager, Menon is not a scientist, CTIX stuff is all smoke and mirrors. When you look at short attacks at CTIX 2 years ago, there are no different than today. They all assume that academic institutions using CTIX compounds for clinical trials (Dana Farber, MD Anderson, University of Bologna) and at this point FDA (granting the QIDP tag for Brilacidin) are fools who need to be brought to reason by investigative shorts. The sad part is that they do a lousy job dissecting the real risks of an OTC early biotech company.
    I would be able to put together a better short thesis based on previous failures of p53 targeting drugs by other companies and the competition in the antibiotic space.
    So to me all of that made very little sense so far. Furthermore, building a short attack at a ~$4 OTC stock to me seems quite ludicrous. Limited potential reward combined with high costs of such a short position... Aren't there more overpriced stocks to short, with a biggest potential downfall and bigger volume? So my thinking now is, that those "shorts" are actually not shorting anything. These investigative pieces probably serve to scare people off and for someone to gobble up the shares.
    I know risks of the biotech well enough to know what a real risk of CTIX is. And furniture depreciation is not one of them.
    Jan 25, 2015. 10:58 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    slowdive: you are making it too hard for him. Analyzing all that science before composing an investment thesis.
    Jan 23, 2015. 04:10 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • LeapFrog Is Selling Below Its Liquidation Value [View article]
    I believe that the power of the company isn't hardware but educational content. Spreading it over other platforms would be WAY more viable & profitable option than trying to persuade parents to purchase another overpriced tablet. Being at the low end of the guidance is one thing. But missing it by 30% is a totally different ballgame, that really means they had no idea about the market.
    The turnaround starts with firing the bad management.
    Jan 23, 2015. 04:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    no, you are right, I was wrong. Who cares about what FDA thinks about Brilacidin, furniture is the key in biotech!
    Jan 23, 2015. 03:58 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    too funny :) it's gotta be the canteen vending machine that put you over the edge :)
    Jan 23, 2015. 03:52 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • LeapFrog Is Selling Below Its Liquidation Value [View article]
    burning through cash, not making money and spend more cash on share buyback....?
    guys, don't get me wrong, I like the company, I like the product, but let's call it what it is, failure. Missing estimates SO MUCH is bad and no sugar coating or insider purchase or zero debt can solve it. Unless there is a significant change of strategy, next Christmas will be as bad as the last two... And eventually they will run out of money. Trying to make it look better is a bad idea for anyone who likes the company or has the position.
    Jan 23, 2015. 02:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cellceutix: A December To Remember May Turn Into A 2015 To Forget For CTIX [View article]
    I like how you keep jumping from one minutia to another. If you think CTIX management is fraud, I strongly advise you to notify FDA, Harvard Medical School and MD Anderson, they obviously didn't do their research as well as you did :).
    But you are forgetting one thing: even if only Brilacidin works, you are cooked. And from the clinical trial data, it seems it did.
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:18 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Leapfrog Pre-Announcement Likely To Cause Further Decline In Shares [View article]
    exactly, there is no viable strategy. Barbour can draw salary and keep destroying the company for another year or two and than go somewhere else....
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment