Top 2010 Established Biotech Stock Picks for Upside (MNKD, THRX, DNDN, INCY, ILMN, ALNY, GILD, SVNT, AMGN, ONXX, PDLI, OSIP, CELG)

BioHealthInvestor.com wanted to put together a list of key biotech and BioHealth-related stocks that had the most upside for 2010 according to consensus analyst price targets.  This is of course no exact science for many reasons, but getting a lot of consensus price targets together is often a sign of at least where to start when looking for upward price targets in stocks.  And we all know that BioHealth and biotech stocks often offer the upside of the century as these companies all hold a bit of your own personal lottery ticket in all of their share prices.

After taking a look at our normal universe of biotech and biohealth related stocks. it was obvious that MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) still has the most upside from the consensus price targets IF it is hit.  Then in order of expected share price appreciation comes Theravance Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), and then came Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY), and Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).

The stocks above all had upside of over 25%.  The other stocks here are the ‘lower rung’ of upside expectations but are all still offering over 20% upside to the consensus analyst price targets (again IF they are hit).  Of the 13 stocks with markets caps of $750 million (or almost $750 million) which we cover, these still had upside of over 20% except a few: Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVNT), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX), PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDLI), OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP), and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG).
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Winning With Swine Flu H1N1 Testing Clearance (AFFX)

December 21, 2009 · Filed Under fda, flu · Comments Off 

Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) is the beneficiary of some swine flu or H1N1 news this morning.  The company and TessArae LLC announced that the FDA granted emergency use authorization for a H1N1 influenza detection panel.  While Affymetrix is up considerably from lows of the year, this has been a very volatile stock for long-term investors.

The product was created by TessArae, but using the GeneChip Platform technology from Affymetrix to analyze genetic information.  TessArae is also not the only firm to receive emergency FDA clearance for H1N1 detection.  This particular test is supposed to be unique in that it directly generates genomic sequence from multiple influenza virus genes to help identify which particular H1N1 virus strain is present in a single test.

Affymetrix is up 3.4% at $5.74 in early trading.  At one point this morning shares were ar as high as $5.97, and its 52-week trading range is $1.78 to $10.06.

JON C. OGG

Novavax (NVAX) Breaks Higher

December 2, 2009 · Filed Under flu · Comments Off 

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) is trading up again on swine flu or H1N1 news.  The company issued a press release showing positive clinical results from a pivotal study of H1N1 influenza vaccine in Mexico.  It is up 7% to $3.43.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Novartis Expands China Vaccine Investments (NVS)

November 4, 2009 · Filed Under Financial, flu, M&A, vaccine · Comments Off 

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) wants to get larger in teh realm of vaccines.  In China for that matter.  The Swiss drug giant has announced plans to buy an 85% majority stake in a privately held Chinese vaccine maker called Zhejiang Tianyuan.  The purchase price is roughly $125 million.

This is a tiny scratch on the surface for Novartis as far as its overall size, but this is a clear move further into China, which is now the world’s third-largest market for vaccines but has the world’s largest population.  The deal is of curse subject to regulatory approval in China.

This week Novartis had already indicated that will invest up to $1 billion to make its Chinese R&D efforts a top target as the huge nation could easily become one of the Swiss drug maker’s top target markets.

Jon C. Ogg

Do Flu Vaccines Need to Worry About Pain Killers? (GSK, AZN, SNE, NVS)

November 3, 2009 · Filed Under flu, vaccine · Comments Off 

There is an interesting release out today showing that research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows an inverse relationship between some of the more common pain killers or relievers and the effectiveness of flu shots.  While this does not impact the need for flu vaccines and while this probably won’t impact the sale of flu vaccines by any doses, it does highlight that flu vaccines might not be as effective under a very common circumstance.  It also shows how these pain killers might inhibit some of the body’s defenses in general.  The study shows that the use of common pain killers to the likes of Advil, Tylenol, and aspirin at the time of a flu shot injection may actually blunt the effect of the shot.  It also noted a negative immune system response.

This has been studied for years by a Dr. Richard Phipps and the findings were presented at an international conference on inflammatory diseases.  The study data also corresponds to a report in The Lancet from last month by researchers out of the Czech Republic.

The companies most tied to seasonal flu vaccines are large diversified international conglomerates GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE:GSK), AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN) via MedImmune, and Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY).  Novartis (NYSE: NVS) also recently said that the backlog Of Swine-Flu vaccine orders would be filled by January, but unfortunately that is after many flu contractions will have been seen. It is a flu vaccine supplier.

Again, this won’t likely have any impact on the sales of vaccines that are already in very short supply.  But it is important to consider if you are taking a flu vaccine or if you are ill.  Particularly so when you consider that many ill and not so ill people take these three pain relieves and pain killers routinely.

JON C. OGG

BioCryst, Answer for Swine Flu H1N1 Vaccine Shortages? (BCRX)

October 26, 2009 · Filed Under fda, flu · Comments Off 

I have been a pretty upset US citizen so far this Fall ahead of flu season.  I cannot find available regular flu shots at any of my go-to spots.  Many drug stores in Houston even have the recording on their telephone answering systems that they do not have the seasonal flu vaccines at this time.  And as far as the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine, forget about getting easy access to it.  BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) may be one answer.  But the stress here is on ‘may.’

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) is trading higher on H1N1 or swine flu news this morning.  The company’s intravenous experimental drug called peramivir received an “emergency use authorization” by the FDA in response to a request from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The emergency use authorization for peramivir is for certain adult and pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected 2009 H1N1 influenza infection who are admitted to a hospital.

This is good news, except that this is solely for patients admitted into the hospital.  By the time most people decide they have to go to the hospital, they are probably already having severe health issues.

BioCryst is likely to see an immediate boost from this.  The company generated a mere $56.561 million in 2008 revenues, down from $71.238 million in 2007 revenues.  And the revenue estimates from Wall Street are too few to know if they are even legitimate “consensus figures.”  But the estimates appear to be $23.71 million for 2009 and $51.29 million for 2010 according to Thomson Reuters.

At 9:45 AM EST we have BioCryst shares trading up 14.7% at $11.08, and we have already seen 150% of its normal average trading volume with over 4.1 million shares having traded hands.

JON C. OGG
OCTOBER 26, 2009

Controversy Toward American Oriental Bioengineering (AOB)

September 22, 2009 · Filed Under flu, General · Comments Off 

American Oriental Bioengineering Inc. (NYSE: AOB) is being highlighted by a service which the company probably wished did not cover it.  If you recall a websire called Asensio.com, and active site that highlights short selling opportunities or red flags in companies, Shenzen, China-based American Oriental Bioengineering is the new target of such activity.

If you look at the “Recent Reports” section at Asensio.com, there are two highted articles both dated as of today.  One article is “AOB Chairman’s Questionable Second Passport and Potential Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest” and another article is “AOB’s Disclosures Concerning Director Cosimo Patti Appear Incomplete.”

You will need to go through these individually before making your own call.  The notion that one short seller or one independent service highlights a company is something that should be checked and measured by each investor.

Shares were down early in the pre-market session, but the stock was actually back to positive right after the open.  At 9:39 AM Est we have shares up 0.3% at $5.39.  The 52-week trading range is $3.29 to $7.66 and the average volume is over 1.4 million shares.

American Oriental Bioengineering, Inc. is a Chinese pharmaceutical company “dedicated to improving health through the development, manufacture and commercialization of a broad range” of prescription and over the counter products.  The market cap of this one is $421 million.

JON C. OGG
September 22, 2009

Market Buys Into CEL SCI (CVM) CEO’s Nonsense

September 22, 2009 · Filed Under flu, R&D · Comments Off 

CEL-SCI Corporation’s CEO, Geert Kersten,  said his company just received FDA approval to proceed with a clinical trial of its H1N1 flu drug candidate, testing its effect on white blood cells of patients who are hospitalized. The biotech firm said it is working on the next phase of the study and is preparing the drug’s follow-up regulatory application.

The company also filed with the SEC saying it is offering to sell up to 22,000,000 shares of its common stock to investors exercising warrants previously issued by CEL-SCI.

CVM is up on heavy volume to $2.06, a 3.6% gain for the day. There is not news from the company that should cause it to trade above $1.11 where it was five days ago.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Hemispherx Biopharma (HEB) Jumps On Expansion News

September 16, 2009 · Filed Under flu, R&D · Comments Off 

Hemispherx Biopharma (HEB) is posted a very modest rise of 7% to $2.18 on newsd of manufacturing expansion. The trading in the shares looks as if some investors are taking profits.

HEB said its Board of Directors has just approved up to $4.4 Million (U.S.) for full engineering studies, capital improvements, system upgrades, and introduction of building management systems to enhance production of three products: Alferon N(R) (its FDA licensed biologic), Alferon LDO and Ampligen(R). Alferon LDO and Ampligen(R) (Poly I : Poly C12U) are experimental therapeutics being developed for multiple clinical indications including prevention, prophylaxis and treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza.

On August 10, Hemispherx announced its financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2009. The net loss (including non-cash expenses) for the fiscal quarter was approximately $3,870,000 or $0.04 per share compared to a loss of approximately $2,802,000 or $0.04 per share for the same period in 2008. Cash, cash equivalent and short-term investments were $41,657,000 as of June 30, 2009 reflecting an increase of $35,538,000 since year end 2008. This increase primarily reflects the net proceeds of two equity placements in May, 2009 as well as proceeds derived from an equity financing agreement.

Douglas A. McIntyre

CEL-SCI, From Cancer to Swine Flu or H1N1 (CVM)

September 15, 2009 · Filed Under Cancer, flu · Comments Off 

CEL-SCI Corp. (AMEX: CVM) actually looks to be the biggest of the emerging R&D companies today.  The stock at one point today nearly doubled after CEO Geert Kersten says to a website the company’s work on a treatment for those already stricken with H1N1 may have significant impact on chances of survival.

The comments were made responding to questions from our friends over at BioMedReports.com, which reports CVM is in government talks over treatment.  Unfortunately, that situation was given a decline in comment.

CVM has said before that it was working on a treatment to target non-mutating parts of the flu strain.  Back in August, this company entered into a definitive agreement with several institutional investors in a registered direct offering to sell 9.7 million units of stock and warrants for gross proceeds of approximately $4.4 million.

Where this gets interesting is that CEL-SCI has historically been thought of as a call option or risky stock with a potential cancer treatment as it is entering a late stage oncology trial for a global Phase III trial in advanced primary head and neck cancer.

Shares have not just risen sharply.  They have done so on exponential trading volume.  In mid-afternoon trading, this one is up 75% at $1.62.  It hit a new 52-week high today of $1.82.  And as far as a 52-week low, that is down at $0.14.

JON C. OGG
September 15, 2009

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