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Atif Raja
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I am a paramedic. I am not an analyst, I am not a financial adviser, I cannot predict the future, nor am I privy to any insider information. My only intention is to provide retail investors with the science and to clear up some of the misinformation spread by everyone with internet access. ... More
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  • Antares Pharma Inc- FDA Approval With A Hint Of Adam F Manipulation 34 comments
    Oct 14, 2013 12:40 PM | about stocks: ATRS

    I really dislike having to write a rebuttal to the misanalysis of Adam F. It takes an inordinate amount of time and effort and is never really worth it for me personally. Adam F is a so called analyst who made his reputation betting against small biotech companies working on cancer drugs. Adam and I go all the way back to 2012, when I first started trading. Adam and I disagreed on the share price movement of several biotech companies, in short I was right and he was wrong. This was the case with QCOR below $20, MNKD below $2, and this year when RMTI was below $4.

    The most irritating thing about Adam is not his emotional immaturity or his intellectual inferiority in regards to medicine but rather his inability to admit that he is wrong. Today is another example of his disassociation from reality and proof that cognitive dissonance is alive and well in the weakest of minds on Wall Street. I am sure this rebuttal will afford me a wonderful concoction of curse words, combined in a unique and elegant manner from the mentally challenged analyst.

    "Antares Pharma, Inc. (ATRS) today announced the approval of OTREXUP™ (methotrexate) injection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). OTREXUP™ is the first FDA approved subcutaneous (NYSE:SC) methotrexate (NYSE:MTX) for once weekly self-administration with an easy-to-use, single dose, disposable auto injector. OTREXUP™ is indicated for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis (NYSE:RA) who have had an insufficient therapeutic response to or are intolerant of an adequate trial of first line therapy including full dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), or children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA). The FDA also approved adult use of OTREXUP™ for symptomatic control of severe recalcitrant, disabling psoriasis that is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy" finance.yahoo.com/news/otrexup-methotrexate-injection-approved-fda-130000682.html

    Adam predicted that Antares will not gain approval for OTREXUP and since that prediction obviously did not come true, he took to the internet to manipulate the share price by any means possible. In his latest piece Adam titles his post with "Antares' Otrexup, Approval was easy, selling drug will be hard".

    Adam makes a few points in his "article" and does a great job at making sure that they are all completely invalid. Quoted from Adams latest failure, of what we might consider, a reputable analysis:

    · "selling the injectable formulation of methotrexate will be a lot more difficult"

    · "Despite its advantages, injectable methotrexate is rarely prescribed, mainly because it requires weekly visits to the doctor's office."

    · "If you believe Antares' sales pitch- the convenience of Otrexup (patients can self-inject at home) will convince doctors to increase their use of injectable methotrexate for treating rheumatoid arthritis patients."

    · "Don't expect Otrexup sales to roar out of the starting gate. This is a me-too drug, perhaps a bit more convenient. Rheumatologists and insurance companies aren't likely to embrace Otrexup."

    Can we get a round of applause for yet another manipulative article that leaves out inconvenient things like facts? Perhaps Adam doesn't really know anything about medicine because he majored in political science and somehow believes that it is relevant to medicine. Since he has no basis in medicine, how about I take some time to discuss some relevant facts and tear his misanalysis apart.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body has an abnormal response to its own tissue. This process leads to inflammation that causes damage to joints and can affect organs. Approximately 1.5 million people are diagnosed with RA in the US. Approximately 70% of the patients with RA are treated with an oral regiment of methotrexate. In 2012, approximately six million prescriptions were written for MTX for the treatment of RA, children with Polyarticular idiopathic arthritis and adult psoriasis.

    Otrexup has a higher bioavailability of the drug via subcutaneous injection and reduces the side effects associated with oral MTX usage. In the US Otrexup will be the first subcutaneous injection of MTX formulation. The current injections of MTX are for Intramuscular use only. Obviously this fact was conveniently left out of Adam F's article. The pain from an IM injection is far greater than a subcutaneous infection and you could accidentally hit a nerve causing chronic pain. The risk of damaging an underlying nerve is one of the main reasons MTX IM shots are given in doctor's office and not at home.

    For a visual of the different routes of administration:

    Courtesy http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/drugs/administration_and_kinetics_of_drugs/drug_administration.html

    Courtesy http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/intramuscular+injection

    As you can clearly see, subcutaneous injections are not only more convenient but also exponentially safer for self-administration. But the convenience of self-administration is not the true genius of Otrexup.

    MTX inhibits cell growth and oral administration of the drug causes moderate to severe damage to the gastrointestinal tract. This special property of the drug, inhibiting cell growth, is like a double edged sword for patients and clinicians alike. The cells in patients mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines are constantly regenerating themselves due to the acidity of the environment and multiple other factors; MTX inhibits this physiological activity. The use of MTX can lead to formations of ulcers and places the patient at risk for GI bleeds, Mallory Weiss tears and a myriad of other multiple medical problems that could become deadly. Otrexup allows for the clinical benefits of MTX without the side effects associated with oral administration.

    Otrexup provides:

    · Higher bioavailability of the drug into the blood stream in comparison to oral formulation of the drug.

    · Convenient for home use due to subcutaneous administration.

    · Prevents side effects associated with oral use such as ulcers, GI bleeds, etc.

    · Reduces costs associated with treatment of RA because it reduces the side effects associated with oral use.

    · Subcutaneous injections are easy to use and a lot less painful in comparison to IM shots.

    Insurance discussion

    I've been asked several questions about the prospects of this drug in regards to the insurance companies. Lets break it down in a plain a simple manner. Otrexup allows for the clinical benefits that a patient with RA needs without the associate side effects of ulcers, GI bleeds, etc. The main reason patients are on MTX right now is because there is no "better" alternative. Otrexup subcutaneous shots once per week may seem like a expensive alternative in regards to oral therapy. However; if you look at the costs, associated with GI problems that are caused by MTX, it is quite clear that in the long run patients and insurance companies save money.

    So lets think about this for a second with our amazing super power called "common sense". A drug that provides a superior clinical benefit along with prevention of major adverse side effects, reduction of health care costs down the road, etc. will it be covered by insurance? hmmmm

    In conclusion, Adam F has yet again posted a shoddy analysis that has no basis in reality and is obvious manipulation. Adam conveniently left out all the clinical benefits of Otrexup and made it seem like it was just some novel expensive way of administrating a common drug. Otrexup is set to become the standard of care for RA treatment and due to the cost savings associated with the reduction of side effects, insurance companies will prefer this over oral use. Please do your own due diligence and make an informed decision about your investment.

    Disclosure: I am long ATRS.

    Additional disclosure: I am long ATRS, I held through the PDUFA and have no intention of selling in the next 72 hours.

    Stocks: ATRS
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Comments (34)
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  • kpcapitalpartners
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    Great job. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I never invest due to takeover/m&a rumors. However, as you are aware, there have been rumblings about Pfizer being an ideal suitor for ATRS. We'll see what happens...
    14 Oct 2013, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » ATRS has a great platform and there is certainly a potential for that to happen. Buyout or no buyout the share price will reflect the FDA approval soon enough. Good luck to you!
    14 Oct 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • heather0707
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    Wow, great article. I knew it was good but didn't realize all of the other benefits you brought up of this drug. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

     

    I've invested in quite a few bio drugs and it seems this Adam F is always tearing into them. What does he only short, he should try and go long once in awhile.
    14 Oct 2013, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you, it didn't take much effort correcting the BS that Adam posted this time. Usually he puts forth more of an effort to manipulate share price, this was C- work for him. Good luck to you!
    14 Oct 2013, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • saeed.rubicon
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    You are a super intelligent analyst.Would love to speak with you inshallah.
    Saeed
    18 Oct 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you for the compliment but I am not an analyst by any definition of the word. I am a Paramedic who happens to have OCD and I invest in the stock market. I am usually on Stocktwits, #rajalonghorn or you can message me on twitter under the same name. Good luck to you and I wish you all the best.
    19 Oct 2013, 02:18 AM Reply Like
  • seviay
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    You point out that he majored in political science. Isn't the science of politics all about "spin"? Clearly, he puts his major to good use.

     

    "Despite its advantages, injectable methotrexate is rarely prescribed, mainly because it requires weekly visits to the doctor's office." If injectable methotrexate has advantages (by his own admission), and the downside is that it requires an office visit, wouldn't that mean that Otrexup would be a homerun/slam dunk/touchdown/other sports analogy, since it wouldn't require that office visit?

     

    I have spoken with a good friend of mine who suffers from RA and whose mother has suffered with it for 20+ years. Her mother is very receptive, and she is going to talk about Otrexup with her doctor, Dr. Don Cheatum, a renowned Rheumatologist in Dallas, TX (http://bit.ly/GVBJpN). I will go ahead and count her among the ATRS sales staff now, because she loves me =)

     

    Anyways, just wanted to add to the conversation. Thanks for taking the time to refute his points.
    14 Oct 2013, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » lol! you are absolutely correct. Logical fallacies was one of my favorite subjects and I enjoyed debate. Adam goes with the bare minimum straw man fallacies or slippery slope fallacies.

     

    The fact that he tried to pass off a SQ shot as equivalent to an IM shot is amazing. He is by far the most disingenuous and misleading analyst in the history of Wall Street.

     

    Ultimately the success of this drug comes down to the clinicians and patients. From the standpoint of a clinician, this drug allows reduction of side effects while improving clinical benefit. As a patient would you rather have ulcers, GI bleeds or a painful IM shot? the answer is none of the above. A patient would much rather take a SQ shots, especially if its only once per week.

     

    Adam plays by a simple rule. Since majority of biotech companies fail in their endeavor, be bearish on everything. Even if you are wrong, you are still right "majority" of the time. Win with Quantity rather than Quality. When he is proven wrong, he mutes himself about the company for a while and then writes a biotech trash bag article, as was the case in RMTI.

     

    Adam should stick to doing what he does best and that is betting against small cap cancer research stocks. He should leave medicine to those that understand the pathophysiology of the disease, pharmacokinetics of the drug and marketability in a specific patient population. Good Luck to you and thank you taking the time to add to the discussion.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • nammuang
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Thank You,
    I could hardly believe my eyes when I read his article. Bu I ges anything goes on the good old internet.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » it was a brilliant play on his part. Completely stopped the stock movement in its track and allowed the shorts an opportunity to cover for cheap. The longs risked holding through PDUFA, potential for a 50% loss and then end the day with a meager 3% gain? Where is the SEC? getting paid off by hedge funds who short these stocks http://bit.ly/19IHfpU
    14 Oct 2013, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • Doewap
    , contributor
    Comments (792) | Send Message
     
    Well written. Maybe a tad on the vindictive side, to my liking.

     

    But I honestly don't believe that one bear, even if his name is AF, is responsible for the somewhat stubborn price movement of ATRS.
    21 Oct 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You are right, I did write this up kind of fast and Adam and I have a interesting history. Also, if you care to look over at CPRX, it is quite evident that Adam has a lot of pull. As speaking with some of the smartest investors confirmed for me today; even if they strongly believe in the fundamentals of a biotech company, they will sell for the short term because of single blast article by Adam Feurnstein. That is a lot of power a single analyst has over any given field. It may even be justified because he has made several bearish calls that were 100% correct.
    I am abrasive towards Adam for two simple reasons, he curses like a sailor and never has a legitimate retort when facts are used to debunk his "analysis". I am waiting on the HF filings to confirm my suspicion that there was also a large amount of shares sold by institutional investors on the FDA approval announcement. Best of luck to you!
    22 Oct 2013, 12:16 AM Reply Like
  • madbriggs
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Very nice! Thanks for calling it as it really is, as opposed to what AF wants it to be.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you, Adam has a history of lying and misleading the retail investors but no one seems to questions his analysis. Most likely the reason is they don't want a dimwitted analyst hurling obscenities at them via twitter. Here Adam was trying to keep retail from buying below $2, stock ran to $13 http://bit.ly/HB0mqJ
    14 Oct 2013, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • drfriedman
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Thank you, Araja! Excellent job.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » thank you! Good luck to you!
    14 Oct 2013, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • richwillard
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
     
    I absolutely loved reading your article, thank you for writing it today! I am absolutely dumbfounded by how someone like AF would put such a trash piece out for consumption by the masses, especially when there are a lot of very intelligent people who invest in these bio stocks, who know way more than he does. He is like you said, "doing a great job" of trashing his own credibility by throwing insults at the community's intelligence. You have a nice style of writing, and for you to be able to put this together the same day in such a tight and readable fashion, is a testament to your skill and intelligence as an author. Keep writing!
    14 Oct 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you! this only took a few minutes to write and I was happy to break down his manipulation for all of retail to see. Retail has to wake up and realize that these "analysts" are not looking out for their best interest. Adam is the truly the lowest of these parasitic life forms and he should never be trusted. Good luck to you.
    14 Oct 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • pacemakernj
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    Araja ditto on all the positives. My many problems with the AF piece was that it was so devoid of any back up or support documentation. For example, did AF ever bother to call any of the doctors to even get their feedback? You would think that he would have at least checked with a doctor on the efficacy and use of Otrexup? And since when is it ever easy to get anything passed by the FDA? Did he even call the company to ask them if getting this approval was easy? AF needs to pick up his game if he wants to be a serious and respected commentator in this public forum.

     

    Seeking Alpha has been way out front here posting many good in depth research articles on ATRS and Otrexup. and I thank them and you for setting the record straight and keeping the focus on the truth. Nice to be with the grown ups.

     

    Keep up the good work.

     

    Regards,

     

    14 Oct 2013, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » In my opinion, I do not believe that Adam expected ATRS to gain FDA approval. He was blindsided and being the good lap dog, I mean analyst, that he is; he posted the intellectually devoid article without much effort.
    Adam wins with quantity, not quality. This is the reason why he seemingly writes about every single biotech company and never once does he elicit a single neuron to fire an action potential in the minds of most readers. He should be the co-host of Tosh point 0 because insults and emotional immaturity are his strongest attributes.

     

    "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices that I admire"- Winston Churchill
    14 Oct 2013, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and add to the conversation Pacemarkernj. Good luck to you.
    14 Oct 2013, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • issiinc
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Right on! I also didn't agree with that article. Thought it was BS. Thank you for a solid rebuttal.
    14 Oct 2013, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you, happy to be of service. Good luck to you!
    14 Oct 2013, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • homebuilder_watcher
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    I couldn't agree with you more both on ATRS and the "great manipulator". Well done
    14 Oct 2013, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you! Good luck to you
    14 Oct 2013, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • Closet Iguana
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    A friend sent me a link to your article. Reading over the comments it seems that I'm not alone in my appreciation. Thank you for taking the time to write such an insightful, logical and concise rebuttal.
    14 Oct 2013, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » you are very welcome and thank you for taking the time to read it. Good luck to you!
    14 Oct 2013, 11:31 PM Reply Like
  • getgl
    , contributor
    Comments (489) | Send Message
     
    Excellent analysis of the company and the notorious AF. The problem with AF is that he has a loud voice because of his constant self promoting on Twitter. I hope your analysis reaches others who may only get to see the AF comments.
    15 Oct 2013, 05:34 AM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you! Good luck to you.
    15 Oct 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • 17082482
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Thank you so much for writing this piece. As a student at a top medical school (older, hence the money for investing), I jumped onto this stock as soon as I heard about it as the ATRS pipeline is incredibly sound medically (in my humble opinion). The bottom line is that your information is absolutely correct; methotrexate gives us control over cellular processes when we want to stop certain cellular growths, but it stops these same processes in the many different cells it comes in contact with along the way. It further requires a certain amount of buildup to overcome its natural degradation by the liver. Adam's title is absolutely preposterous as any physician is going to jump at the opportunity to get a drug to its target location without unnecessary side effects and causing additional harm to the liver. The only argument that Adam can make is that physicians will still prescribe injections because they are a high-profit in-house procedure. However, both the Affordable Care Act and basic insurance negotiating will combat that as in-house injections are rarely as cheap as "do it yourself" and the squeeze that is about to come from the ACA will simply not allow payment for more expensive procedures when there is a cheaper alternative. This is a win-win with what I believe to be a potential huge upside that I have not seen discussed: other possible uses. My thought is that since it is much easier to get this approved for use on RA because methotrexate is already used on RA via injection, it was only a small step to get the FDA to approve a surface application. Now that it is approved, physicians can use Otrexup for anything they want (or patients can un-wisely experiment...). As has happened many times throughout the history of pharmacology, it would not be surprising if a secondary use for this drug turns out to be an even bigger deal than the original reason for development. I bring up the FDA approval process as ATRS could already have some ideas about potential alternative uses but simply didn't add them to the application in an effort to keep the approval process quick and simple. Again, I am not yet a physician nor a scientist, and these are just some thoughts, but it is sad to see an article published that is so devoid of fact and logic.
    15 Oct 2013, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you for taking the time to add to the conversation. The FDA approved the drug for other indications besides RA, indications include "children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA). The FDA also approved adult use of OTREXUP™ for symptomatic control of severe recalcitrant, disabling psoriasis that is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy"
    Adam has a lot of pull and can post any piece of garbage to manipulate stock price in either direction without valid facts to support his thesis.
    Good luck you!
    15 Oct 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • crt6978
    , contributor
    Comments (56) | Send Message
     
    If I had the $ now ,I'd buy ATRS just because of your well researched and eloquent article.As always,you are above reproach which is something A.F. absolutely can not say. I will say that A.F. is not always wrong,but between you and him,I'll take your advice any day over his.
    15 Oct 2013, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Atif Raja
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you Richard. The value of ATRS is not only in the drugs that they will be selling but their platform as well. The approval of Otrexup by the FDA validated the companies platform and makes the company a great candidate for partnerships and could potentially be bought outright. Good luck to you Richard and I wish you all the best my friend.
    15 Oct 2013, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • pacemakernj
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    Atif, fyi,I just spoke with a friend of mine who also happens to be one of those 3000 Rheumatologists. We spoke at length about how he currently administers medicine to his patients. When I explained this new process he stated that it was a big advancement to what he is using and "would prescribe it immediately". I am sure one of the Antares sales reps will contact him soon.

     

    This is the kind of third party independent verification I am looking for to confirm that Otrexup is real. The market needs to know the real story behind Otrexup and get the word out. Not that many people will read this post here but this doctor whom I have known for at several years would not mislead me.

     

    I am disappointed that the stock has not performed better but a little more due diligence from some of these "would be reporters" would be nice and was one of my main complaints about the AF piece. He had no justification for his statements and neither did Motley Fool for that matter.

     

    I am buying more on this dip.

     

    Regards,

     

    Pacemakernj
    25 Oct 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
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