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ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (BIS)

- NASDAQ
  • Wed, Apr. 29, 12:42 PM
    • The biotech sector heads south again today, continuing the move that began in earnest on Monday. The iShares Biotechnology ETF, for example, is down over 8% from the March 29 high of 374.97 and down almost 7% from the intermediate high of 368.25 on April 23. This phase of the down move is particularly bearish considering the high volume driving the drops on Monday and Tuesday (2.3x normal volume both days).
    • A correction is not that surprising in light of the uninterrupted one-year uptrend. On a technical basis, IBB longs should look for support at 320.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS
    | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 27, 11:19 AM
    • Drug manufacturers have long defended their pricing by citing the need to recoup ultra-high development costs. Now another price-raising scheme is drawing attention. In a report by the Wall Street Journal, there are a growing number of examples where companies acquire drugs they perceive as undervalued and then significantly raise the prices.
    • In February, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX -1.5%) purchased the rights to two heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, from privately-held Marathon Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed sum. It then immediately raised the prices 525% and 212%, respectively, based on the recommendations of a consultant who researched the price/benefit of each. According to Truven Health Analytics, the cost of a 1mL vial of Isuprel went from $215.46 to $1,346.62 while a 2mL vial of Nitropress went from $257.80 to $805.61.
    • Last year, Mallinckrodt (MNK -0.7%) bought Cadence Pharmaceuticals to gain access to its Ofirmev pain meds. A short time later, the list price for a package of 24 vials jumped 2.5-fold to over $1,019.52.
    • In 2013, Horizon Pharma increased the price of Vimovo pain tablets, after acquiring the rights from AstraZeneca, almost 600% to $959.04.
    • Valeant is apparently leading the price-raising pack. It has boosted list prices by at least 20% about 122 times since early 2011.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS, DRGS
    | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 14, 7:28 AM
    • According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, U.S. spending for prescription drugs rose 13% last year to $374B, driven by manufacturer price hikes, pricey breakthrough medicines and millions of newly insured individuals under the Affordable Care Act. The increase was the largest since 2001. Total spending rose by $43.4B, including $10B from price increases and $20.3B from new drugs. led by Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Sovaldi. Specialty medicines, those for complex, chronic disorders, accounted for one third of spending.
    • A record 4.3B prescriptions were filled last year. Those covered by Medicaid rose by almost 17% which accounted for 70% of the growth in prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies. 8.4M fewer prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies compared to 2013 for patients with commercial insurance due to high out-of-pocket costs.
    • The number of novel medicines launched in 2014 was 42, including 18 for rare diseases. Ten were designated as Breakthrough Therapies by the FDA.
    • Generic drugs reduced spending by only $11.9B.
    • The IMS data is based on list prices for branded drugs. Wholesalers usually get discounts of ~6%.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 25, 12:13 PM
    • The Nasdaq's down move notwithstanding, the biotech sector is selling off on higher-than-normal volume today. On a technical basis, a correction (or at least a pause) is due. Prices pierced their upper price channel last week on robust volume. This is classic pre-correction behavior at the end of a long uninterrupted bull run, which began for biotechs almost a year ago. Look for more near-term weakness before prices consolidate.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS
    | 23 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 24, 4:42 PM
    • The FDA will hold a public hearing April 20 - 21 seeking information and comment on the use of products labeled "homeopathic" and the agency's regulatory framework for such products. The hearing will cover prescription drugs, biological products and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines labeled homeopathic, a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S.
    • There has been considerable debate over the years concerning whether homeopathic medicines actually work. Recently, an Australian government study concluded that they do not. Last week, the FDA issued a warning about the potential health risks of homeopathic OTC asthma products considering they have not been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
    • Homeopathy is considered pseudoscience. No remedy has ever been proven to be more effective than placebo.
    • ETFs: IRY, IXJ, DRGSIBB, BIB, BIS
    | 9 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 19, 11:45 AM
    • In a report published by EP Vantage (the editorial arm of market intelligence firm Evaluate), 2014 was the year of biotech. Highlights include:
    • $212B in M&A transactions, eclipsing 2009's $152B; 87 IPOs that raised $6.3B (almost double the floats done in 2013 and more than 2x money raised); $6.5B in venture funding (+33%).
    • FDA approved a record 50 new drugs.
    • So far in 2015, ~$3B has been raised through secondary offerings.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | 7 Comments
  • Dec. 23, 2014, 10:40 AM
    | 28 Comments
  • Nov. 28, 2014, 9:23 AM
    • The European Commission approves Boehringer Ingelheim's Vargatef (nintedanib), in combination with docetaxel, for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced, metastatic or locally recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of adenocarcinoma tumor histology, after first-line chemotherapy. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of lung cancer.
    • Nintedanib is an oral angiokinase inhibitor which simultaneously inhibits endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFR) and fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) signalling pathways. It is currently being investigated in various other cancers.
    • Earlier this month, Europe's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion supporting approval of nintedanib, branded as Ofev, for the treatment of ideopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The FDA approved it for IPF in October.
    • Previously: Europe Ad Comm supports approval for BI pulmonary fibrosis drug
    • Previously: BI begins enrollment in Phase 3 CRC trial
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    • Lung cancer-related tickers: (NYSE:BMY) (NYSE:MRK) (NASDAQ:CLVS) (NASDAQ:FPRX) (NASDAQ:BIND) (NYSE:GSK) (NASDAQ:ARIA) (NASDAQ:ECYT) (NYSE:AZN) (OTC:MKGAF) (OTCPK:MKGAY) (NASDAQ:ONTY) (NYSE:PFE) (NASDAQ:HTBX) (OTCQX:RHHBY) (NASDAQ:INCY)
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 26, 2014, 3:33 PM
    • Dutch biotech UniQure (QURE +22.6%) catapults into uncharted territory with the pricing of its gene therapy drug Glybera (alipogene tiparvovec). It is set to debut in Germany at €1.1M ($1.4M).
    • Glybera treats an ultra-rare disease called lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD), a condition that clogs the blood with fat. The European Commission approved it in November 2012 but the launch was delayed because the company needed to collect six-year follow up data on its benefits.
    • UniQure's commercial partner, Italian firm Chiesi, has filed a pricing dossier with German regulators, who will issue an assessment of the drug's benefits by April 2015. Chiesi seeks a retail price of €53,000 per vial. Under German rules, the launch price will be valid for 12 months.
    • At this price, the full regimen cost will be €1.1M for a typical LPLD patient weighing 62.5 kg, who will require 42 injections from 21 vials. The number of eligible patients is tiny, only 150 - 200 across Europe.
    • Former #1 Soliris (eculizumab), made by Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN +0.7%) is now a distant second at ~$540,000.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS
    | 5 Comments
  • Nov. 26, 2014, 7:17 AM
    • Chinese authorities are reportedly considering letting market forces determine the prices of most drugs sold there according to a proposal sent to drug industry groups by the National Development and Reform Commission, although measures would be implemented to prevent prices from spiking when the changes take effect January 1, 2015.
    • Currently, the government contains costs via price controls and state-run tenders. Under the new plan, prices for branded drugs would determined via multiple party negotiations. No further details are provided as to how the process would work, though.
    • Price controls would remain in place for certain meds such as anesthesia drugs because their production and circulation are strictly regulated. For medicines covered under the government's health insurance system, payment standards would be implemented to guide the market.
    • ETFs: FXI, IBB, BIB, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, ASHR, HAO, TAO, YANG, CHIQ, CQQQ, BIS, MCHI, CHIX, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, DRGS, CHXF, ECNS, FCA, CHII, CN, CHIE, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, KFYP, ASHS, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 25, 2014, 8:18 AM
    • Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) is at the forefront of an increasing wave of resistance to the high prices of new drugs from pharma and biotech firms, some which cost as much as $50K per month. Pharmaceutical spending in the U.S. is $270B and may breach $500B in five years. ESRX's method of controlling costs is to refuse to pay for them. For 2015, for example, it is excluding 66 branded drugs from its main formulary, an increase of 18 from 2014's 48. On the list is Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) rheumatoid arthritis drug Simponi (golimumab) which costs $3K per month.
    • Other prescription benefits managers are employing similar tactics. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) will exclude 95 drugs from its 2015 formulary including Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) multiple sclerosis med Rebif (interferon beta-1a) which costs $5K for a four-week supply.
    • Governments are pushing back as well. Among 42 state Medicaid programs, 27 pay for Gilead Sciences' HCV med Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) only for patients with severe liver damage while others impose coverage limitations for patients with recent substance-abuse problems. In the U.S., the full regimen cost is $84K. Recently, Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) balked at recommending reimbursement for Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) blood cancer drug Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab).
    • Ninety percent of commercial health plans require pre-approval of specialty drugs, up from 82% in 2011.
    • Previously: Roche's Gazyvaro not NICE in the UK
    • Previously: Global drug tab will breach trillion dollar mark this year
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    • Related tickers: (NYSE:NVS) (NYSE:AZN) (NASDAQ:AMGN) (NASDAQ:BIIB) (NASDAQ:CELG) (NYSE:LLY) (NYSE:SNY) (NYSE:ABT) (NYSE:ABBV) (NYSE:BMY) (NYSE:MRK) (NYSE:GSK)
    | 24 Comments
  • Nov. 24, 2014, 4:30 PM
    • Waltham, MA-based Histogenics (HSGX) is set for its IPO of 4.3M shares of common stock at $13 - 15.
    • The regenerative medicine company focuses on developing products in the musculoskeletal area. Its lead product is NeoCart, an autologous cartilage implant for the repair of cartilage damage in the knee. It is currently in Phase 3 development.
    • The first step in the process is the procurement of cartilage cells by a surgeon from the non-weight-bearing area of the patient's femur. After expanding, the cells are infused into the company's proprietary scaffold and then incubated in its Tissue Engineering Processor which mimics the conditions in the joint. When NeoCart is implanted, a bioadhesive is used to anchor it in place.
    • Enrollment in a 245-patient Phase 3 trial is underway. The primary efficacy endpoint is clinical superiority over the current standard of care, microfracture, at 12 months post implant.
    • Histogenics has yet generate meaningful revenue. Its net loss in 2013 was $25.7M and $23.7M in the first nine months of 2014.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS (NYSEARCA:IPO)
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 21, 2014, 11:46 AM
    • CB Pharma Acquisition Corp. (CNLMU) files for an IPO of 4M units priced at $10 per unit. Each unit consists of one share of common stock, one right to purchase 1/10 of a share of common stock on the consummation of an initial business combination and one warrant to purchase 1/2 of one share of common stock at a full-share price of $11.50.
    • The firm is a blank check company formed by Coronado Biosciences (CNDO +0.5%). It will seek business combinations via mergers, share exchanges, asset acquisitions, share purchases, recapitalizations or reorganizations.
    • It has 18 months from the consummation of this offering to complete its initial business combination (up to 21 months in certain circumstances) or it will liquidate the trust account, distribute the proceeds to shareholders and dissolve.
    • Per NASDAQ listing rules, the target business for the initial combination must have a fair market value equal to at least 80% of the value of the trust account.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS (NYSEARCA:IPO)
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 20, 2014, 8:03 AM
    • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation sells the royalty stream it receives from Vertex Pharmaceutics (NASDAQ:VRTX) to Royalty Pharma for $3.3B. It plans to reinvest the money into new research efforts.
    • The transaction is an example of successful mission investing, a growing trend in philanthropy. Instead of giving charitable grants, the foundation acts as a business partner by making an investment and expecting a share of the profits.
    • Vertex's Kalydeco (ivacaftor), which helps CF patients with a rare genetic mutation, costs more than $300K per year. CF Foundation Chief Robert J. Beall says, "While the drug's high price may have boosted the royalties the foundation gets, we would give up our royalties in a second to drive down the prices. We were not at the pricing table." He adds that the foundation has no plans to subsidize the cost of drugs to patients. "What we're really excited about is the move to a one-time cure." At present, the meds are daily therapies.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 20, 2014, 7:41 AM
    • According to IMS Health (NYSE:IMS) global drug spending will top $1T this year led by Gilead's (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for hep C and new cancer drugs. The projected spend of $1.06T represents a 7% increase from last year.
    • By 2018, drug spending is projected to rise to $1.3T. Hepatitis C and cancer meds will add ~$100B each, while diabetes care will contribute $78B. Leading the charge in cancer will be Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), Pharmacyclics' (NASDAQ:PCYC) Imbruvica (ibrutinib) and Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) Kyprolis (carfilzomib).
    • The ever-increasing tab for meds will be controversial because payers' budgets are being stressed while drug developers defend their prices citing high development costs.
    • There is already some push back in cancer. Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which sets guidelines for the National Health Service on costs, procedures and technologies, is balking at approving Roche's Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab) and Kadcyla citing their high cost relative to additional benefits over existing therapies.
    • Previously: Roche's Gazyvaro not NICE in the UK
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    | 7 Comments
  • Nov. 19, 2014, 9:42 AM
    • Sylmar, CA-based Second Sight Medical Products (NASDAQ:EYES) debuts today via its IPO of 3.5M shares priced at $9.
    • The company develops visual prosthetics to restore some functional vision to blind patients. Its lead product is the Argus II System for the treatment of outer retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa. It is the only retinal prosthesis approved by the FDA and the first one approved anywhere in the world.
    • S-1
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, BIS (NYSEARCA:IPO)
    | 2 Comments
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BIS Description
ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to twice (200%) the inverse (opposite) of the daily performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology® Index.
See more details on sponsor's website
Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States
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