iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) - NASDAQ
  • Sep. 25, 2015, 3:07 PM
    | Sep. 25, 2015, 3:07 PM | 134 Comments
  • Sep. 22, 2015, 2:07 AM
    • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is scheduled to outline a plan to rein in prescription drug costs in Iowa later today, after vowing on Twitter to go after "price-gouging" by drug companies.
    • The tweet brought down the biotech sector yesterday, with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) plunging 4.5%.
    • Several details of the new plan have been provided by the Clinton campaign ahead of the speech: A $250 monthly cap on the amount chronic pain patients would have to pay for prescription medications, approving more generic/imported drugs, forcing pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into R&D and ending their ability to write off consumer advertising as a business expense.
    • ETFs: XBI, BIB, BBH, FBT, HQL, PBE, BIS, SBIO, BBC, BBP, UBIO, LABU, LABD, ZBIO
    • Previously: Biotechs take it on the chin after Hillary tweet about plan to address drug price gouging; IBB down 5% (Sep. 21 2015)
    | Sep. 22, 2015, 2:07 AM | 49 Comments
  • Sep. 21, 2015, 12:56 PM
    • The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB -5%) is down on increased volume, as well as many other ETFs and individual stocks, in apparent response by a tweet by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stating that price gouging in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow, she will "lay out a plan" to take it on.
    • ETFs: IBB, XBI, BBH, FBT, HQL, PBE, SBIO, BBC, BBP, LABD, UBIO, LABU, ZBIO
    | Sep. 21, 2015, 12:56 PM | 83 Comments
  • Aug. 21, 2015, 9:41 AM
    • Stating the obvious, biotechs (IBB -1%) are now officially in a correction phase. Valuations have dropped 14% since July 20 on high volume.
    • Long investors should keep their powder dry until at least a firm level of support forms.
    | Aug. 21, 2015, 9:41 AM | 11 Comments
  • Aug. 6, 2015, 3:17 PM
    • Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT +5.8%) is up on average volume which is notable considering that the iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index Fund (IBB -3.8%) is down almost 4% and the Nasdaq nearly 2%.
    • The company completed its rolling NDA submission for lead product candidate eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in late June. The FDA has 60 days to confirm its completeness for review which should happen in a few weeks.
    | Aug. 6, 2015, 3:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 24, 2015, 3:48 PM
    • Although expected, the FDA's approval of Regeneron (REGN -2.5%) and Sanofi's (SNY -0.1%) Praluent (alirocumab) would normally goose the price a bit but the selloff in biotech is apparently too much to overcome. The iShares Nasdaq Biiotech index (IBB -4%) is down on more than double normal volume.
    | Jul. 24, 2015, 3:48 PM | 8 Comments
  • Jul. 15, 2015, 10:36 AM
    • Celgene's (CELG +9.5%) $7.2B deal for Receptos (RCPT +10.3%) is “a great acquisition at a great price," Nomura analysts say, as ozanimod could enable CELG's inflammation and immunology franchise to double peak sales to $10B and reduce reliance on Revlimid to drive future growth, and the acquisition price of less than 2x peak sales is a steep discount relative to recent comparisons.
    • Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos sees plenty of potential upside to justify a rival bidder stepping in for RCPT, noting that she had estimated the company could be valued at $348/share, or ~$10.9B, in a buyout, substantially more than CELG's $232 offer.
    • The deal is boosting some biotech names (IBB +1.9%), including PTC Therapeutics (PTCT +11.7%), Celsion (CLSN +7.1%) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA +6.7%).
    | Jul. 15, 2015, 10:36 AM | 23 Comments
  • Jun. 23, 2015, 9:22 AM
    | Jun. 23, 2015, 9:22 AM | 11 Comments
  • May 7, 2015, 11:13 AM
    • Spurred by the progress of a bill moving through Congress that will speed new drugs to market for conditions lacking cures, called The 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA has scheduled a public meeting this summer to address concerns by the drugs industry that regulatory restrictions on what they can say about the off-label use of their products violates their First Amendment right to free speech. Language in the bill is ratcheting up the pressure on the agency to relax its guidelines.
    • Drug makers were emboldened on its prospects of changing the rules after an appeals court overturned the conviction of a pharmaceutical sales representative in 2012 who was convicted of promoting off-label uses of the narcolepsy drug Xyrem. The court ruling was based on First Amendment protection for truthful and non-misleading off-label speech.
    • The American Medical Association supports the need for physicians to have access to accurate and unbiased information about off-label uses of drugs since it already accounts for as much as 20% of prescribing, with higher levels in oncology and pediatric rare diseases.
    • Giving drug firms more leeway in this arena has its detractors, however. Rita Redberg, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the UC-San Francisco says, "At my own medical center we have banned pharmaceutical reps from coming because we don't think they are a good source of information. You don't ask the barber if you need a haircut."
    • Pharma companies have a dubious history of breaking the rules governing off-label promotion. Over the past 10 years, 17 firms have paid more than $16B in settlements related to inappropriate off-label selling.
    • Further complicating matters is the fact that up to 75% of published pre-clinical trial results cannot be reproduced in later studies.
    • ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
    • Related tickers: (MRK +0.4%)(LLY -0.1%)(PFE +0.3%)(BMY +0.7%)(GSK -4.1%)(OTCQX:RHHBY -1.1%)(SNY -0.6%)(OTCPK:BAYRY -0.5%)(NVS +0.1%)(AZN -0.3%)(JNJ +0.2%)(ABT -0.1%)(ABBV +0.1%)
    | May 7, 2015, 11:13 AM | 6 Comments
  • Apr. 29, 2015, 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
    | Apr. 29, 2015, 12:42 PM | 5 Comments
  • Apr. 27, 2015, 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
    | Apr. 27, 2015, 11:19 AM | 12 Comments
  • Apr. 14, 2015, 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
    | Apr. 14, 2015, 7:28 AM | 9 Comments
  • Mar. 25, 2015, 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
    | Mar. 25, 2015, 12:13 PM | 23 Comments
  • Mar. 24, 2015, 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
    | Mar. 24, 2015, 4:42 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mar. 19, 2015, 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
    | Mar. 19, 2015, 11:45 AM | 7 Comments
  • Feb. 4, 2015, 10:04 AM
    • Money flow is decidedly negative in the biotech sector this morning. Creating headwinds are the lackluster Q4 results and modest forecasts of Big Pharma and the large number of secondary equity offerings flooding the market.
    • (BIB -6.6%)(IBB -3.1%)
    | Feb. 4, 2015, 10:04 AM | 4 Comments
IBB Description
The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of companies primarily engaged in the biotechnology industry, as represented by the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index<sup>®</sup>.
See more details on sponsor's website
Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States
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