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Over 30 years of investing in individual stocks. Extensive business experience with small to mid-size companies, including as CEO. Many hundreds of blog posts on financial and economic matters since 2008. Focus on value with catalysts for upside price action. Background as a physician and... More
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  • Portola Sells Off On Hawkish Fed Comments, Fundamentals Unchanged 3 comments
    Jul 15, 2014 1:32 PM | about stocks: PTLA

    I recently wrote an article about a development-stage biotech/biopharma company, Portola Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PTLA). This was written shortly after a large run-up in the stock. Following Janet Yellen's hawkish statements about companies such as Portola, or yet riskier stocks, PTLA has taken a big dive to below $25, from $29-30 when I wrote that article. I have been buying the "dip" (which feels more like a crash). I came across this professional article yesterday:

    Apixaban Most Cost-Effective of New Oral Anticoagulants

    July 10, 2014

    As the disease burden of atrial fibrillation (NYSE:AF) increases along with the aging US population, cost-effectiveness of therapy is becoming an important consideration when deciding which anticoagulant therapy to prescribe. Although vitamin K antagonists (VKA), such as warfarin, have been traditionally the most inexpensive agents, their efficacy profile is less favorable than the novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs); other considerations, such as drug-drug interactions and tedious monitoring parameters also make VKAs less desirable than NOACs...

    Table. Comparison of Annual Cost Based on Major Events: Novel Oral Anticoagulants vs Warfarin
    per 100 PY
    Major bleeding
    per 100 PY
    +/- medical costs per patient per year,
    absent incident
    stroke/major bleeding
    Apixaban vs warfarin 1.1 fewer 2.1 fewer $1245 saved
    Dabigatran vs warfarin 1.9 fewer 0.7 more $555 saved
    Rivaroxaban vs warfarin 0.8 fewer 1.4 more $144 increased
    PY = patient years.

    Portola has in late-stage development an antidote that reverses Factor Xa inhibitors such as apixaban, a Xa inhibitor marketed in the U.S. as Eliquis by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

    My guess is that its Xa inhibitor andexanet alfa is worth a good deal more than the company is now valued at, which is $1 B (which includes net cash). It has not been submitted for FDA approval, so anything could happen, but I think this stock is now a very interesting potential value in a rich market.

    Disclosure: The author is long PTLA.

    Additional disclosure: Not investment advice. I am not an investment adviser.

    Stocks: PTLA
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Comments (3)
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  • BioNoob
    , contributor
    Comments (181) | Send Message
    Agreed. Thank you Yellen for the pullback. Added more to long position
    15 Jul 2014, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • virgo349
    , contributor
    Comments (209) | Send Message
    Very interesting. Should easily sell itself. Looks like ol' warfarin won't be the only kid on the block with an antidote. I noticed BI has a dabigatran antidote in the works too with FDA's breakthrough therapy designation.
    10 Aug 2014, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • BioNoob
    , contributor
    Comments (181) | Send Message
    The BI product is currently being studied in reversing Pradaxa. The Portola antidote is not only targeting the F10a, but small studies have demonstrated efficacy with the LMWH (enoxaparin) as well as Pradaxa. The Portola product may be the one stop shop for reversing the majority of the currently prescribed anti-coagulants.


    Lots of data releases for 2014 and early 2015.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:56 PM Reply Like
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