Have you ever had a loved one, friend, or acquaintance suffer from a debilitating disease? If so, you know the pain and suffering it can cause, not only for the person suffering from the disease, but for those around the person as well.
The last thing any decent person wants to see is a fellow human being suffer. I have personally witnessed on two occasions the gross suffering terminal cancer causes. As I wrote in a prior article, philanthropists target bio-pharma companies with strong R&D drug pipelines for investment. These are some very decent people whose main concern is to truly help those who are suffering, not making money from price per share appreciation.
In today's world, it seems more people are becoming less caring of others, with their only concern being themselves and making money at any cost. When I see a good company such as Spectrum Pharma (NASDAQ:SPPI) having a higher short interest, it bothers me. Not only is Spectrum a company engaged in important R&D, it is also a very profitable company. Are there actually people out there who short these companies hoping they fail? I certainly wonder about this at times.
I have a small investment in Ariad Pharma (NASDAQ:ARIA), which is mostly speculative, as I am not really into it to make a ton of money. I am invested in it primarily because I believe in what it is trying to do; R&D in drugs like later stage clinical Ponatinib, and early stage clinical AP26113, and AP1903. These drugs, if proven to be successful, will be an important step in treating various nasty cancers, prolonging lives, and possibly saving lives from certain cancers.
Inhibitex (NASDAQ:INHX), which was just acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) for 2.5 billion dollars, also engages in important R&D. NX-189, a drug candidate for the treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C, last year In April showed favorable safety, tolerability and antiviral results from a Phase 1b clinical trial of INX-189 in genotype 1, treatment naïve HCV patients.
Hepatitis is a horrific disease characterized by inflammation of the liver, usually producing swelling and, in many cases, permanent damage to liver tissues. A number of agents can cause hepatitis, including infectious diseases, chemical poisons, drugs and alcohol. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral disease that leads to serious, permanent liver damage, and in many cases, death.
Bristol Myers has the money to further along the important phase clinical work being done on NX-189, which will hopefully be proven to be a viable treatment for Hep C and come to market as soon as possible. Bristol sees a winner here. Let's hope it is right!
Vertex Pharma (NASDAQ:VRTX) just recently had the drug Kalydeco approved by The FDA. Kalydeco is indicated for patients with a rare form of the disease that affects just 1,200 people in the U.S., about 4 percent of affected population nationwide. These patients have a protein defect that prevents their cells from properly absorbing and excreting salt and water. Studies of the drug showed it significantly improved lung function and reduced other symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. It is a life-threatening disorder and it's not pretty to see someone suffering from it, believe me.
Vertex has more cystic fibrosis treatment drugs in various R&D phase clinical that might have even more promise than Kalydeco.
Mannkind Corportation's (NASDAQ:MNKD) stock has basically been shorted into the ground with nearly 30 million shares short, about 40% of the float. Mannkind to date has not had success in any of its drugs in R&D, so I understand the stock being an attractive short, but 30 million shares short? Personally I hope Mannkind succeeds. I just recently wrote a small piece on Mannkind for those who want to know a little more about the company.
If and when Mannkind succeeds, it will be helping a ton of people with its drugs, and at the same time, burn the pants off of those shorts. I always love to see shorts squeezed. I sometimes feel it is justice served. Easier to wreck something than to build and fix something.
Investment in bio-pharma is a worthy cause, you are helping to build and fix people to ease their pain. When it comes down to it, the well being of the society is more important than all the money in the world.
There are so many more companies out there in addition to the few I listed to consider investing in. I hope you find at least one you believe is a worthy cause.
Disclosure: I am long ARIA.