Top Biotechs With Upside Ahead of Earnings (GILD, AMLN, ARIA, INCY, JAZZ, DNDN, HGSI, ILMN, AMGN, CELG, BIIB, BMRN, LIFE, REGN, AMLN, CBST, ONXX, THRX, VPHM)
Earnings season is afoot and we wanted to see how the analysts are ranking the top biotech stocks before these companies begin their earnings reports. We pulled the top biotech and biohealth related stocks which have market caps of $1 billion and higher and we broke these out into three separate groups by size. The large-cap biotechs are ranked in descending order by size. The stocks under $10 billion in market cap and then under $3 billion were broken out in alphabetical order.
We have compiled some color on selected names, but we also listed the current trading prices, the implied price targets from Thomson Reuters, gave multiples of earnings estimates (from Thomson Reuters) for the forward year (2012 in most cases), showed the trading history and listed a price-to-book ratio. We did not take any merger news into consideration so that we could just show an as-is model here.
Of the large cap stocks in biotech, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was the leader. Several other standouts in the biotechs under $10 billion with a high degree of expected upside were as follows: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ). Other biotechs such as Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) , and Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) also screen out as those with the most upside, but that is because of huge share price drops of late.
THE $10 BILLION AND OVER IN MARKET CAP
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is the largest of the independent biotechs and it remains stuck like Chuck. At $56.71, the consensus target is $64.85 and the stock trades at a mere 10-times 2012 earnings estimates. Its 52-week range is $47.66 to $61.53 and its market cap is north of $52 billion. It is also worth about 2-times book value. Implied Upside: 14.3%.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) trades around $40.37 and estimates have a consensus price target of $47.96. This forward earnings multiple is only about 9.0 now. The 52-week range is $35.28 to $43.49, the market cap is $31.1 billion and the company trades at more than 5-times book value. Implied Upside: 18.5%.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) trades at $64.97 and the consensus price target is about $71.86. This one is more expensive than many of the established biotech players at more than 15-times forward earnings. Celgene’s 52-week range is $48.92 to $67.01, its market cap is $29.8 billion, and it trades at nearly 5-times book value. Implied Upside: 9.8%.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) remains the big-cap recovery stock of biotech. At $102.00, its consensus price target is $110.36, and it trades at close to 16-times forward earnings. The market cap is about $24.7 billion, the 52-week range is $57.58 to $109.63, and the company is worth about 4-times book value. Implied Upside: 8.5%.
UNDER $10 BILLION IN MARKET CAP
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) trades at $33.05 and analysts have a consensus price target of $36.25. Unfortunately, this one is expected to lose money this year at -$0.31 EPS and next year’s earnings are expected to be -$0.04. The 52-week range is $21.70 to $34.50, its market cap is $3.7 billion, and it is listed as trading at close to 5.0-times book value. Implied Upside: 9.6%.
Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) trades around $26.56 and the consensus price target is about $42.90. The company trades at more than 18-times next year’s earnings estimates, its 52-week range is $25.57 to $79.40, its market cap is about $3.3 billion, and it trades at almost 2.9-times its book value. Implied Upside: 62%.
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) may be difficult to compare after a huge run higher followed by a recent tank in the share price. It is also on the equipment side. Shares are back down around $37.24 and the consensus analyst price target is now down to $52.66. The company now trades at barely 9-times forward earnings, if you trust the “E” in that P/E ratio. LIfe’s 52-week trading range is $35.30 to $57.25, its market cap is about $6.7 billion, and the stock is worth about 1.5-times the stated book value. Implied Upside: 41%.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) trades around $60.00 after a large drop due to a $400 million convertible note offering. The consensus price target is about $66.14. The company is also expected to lose as much as $2.00 per share in 2012. It has a 52-week trading range of $24.29 to $79.90, its market cap is $5.5 billion, and it trades at more than 12-times its previously stated book value. Implied Upside: 10.1%.
UNDER $3 BILLION IN MARKET CAP
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) trades around $10.14 and the consensus price target from analysts is $13.44. The 52-week trading range is $8.03 to $21.23, its market cap is about $1.5 billion, and it is worth about 4.6-times book value. Implied Upside: 32.5%.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) trades around $10.25 and the consensus price target is $15.44. The company is expected to have losses this year and next. Its 52-week trading range is $3.51 to $13.50, its market cap is $1.35 billion, and the book value at the last report was barely positive. Implied Upside: 50%.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST) was another big winner earlier in the year and its shares are now at $36.71 versus a consensus price target of $40.82. This used to be a value stock but now trades at closer to 22-times next year’s earnings estimates. The 52-week range is $20.81 to $39.29, the market cap is $2.24 billion, and it trades at just over 3-times book value. We once considered this a biotech buyout target, but that is in the past. Implied Upside: 11%.
Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) shares are now around $9.40 and the consensus analyst target has come down all the way to $13.72. The company has no forward P/E ratio now as it is expected to lose money. The 52-week range is $7.81 to $43.96, its market cap is down to $1.4 billion, and it is listed as being worth more than 3-times its own stated book value. Implied Upside: 45%. Shares have fallen far from grace, so analyst targets and the ratios may all look a bit off. We also cannot count on estimates since the analysts and the company got this one so wrong on the end demand for Provenge. Now we have to hope that Provenge can have many more expanded uses outside of prostate cancer or this is a hard one to follow. What is odd is that Provenge is being tested for other uses and those could reignite interest if more promising data ever comes out. If not, let’s just say this was a painful lesson in biotech.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) is now up around $12.81 after buyout rumors and the consensus target is still listed as being roughly $24.00. The company trades at about 24-times next year’s earnings estimates, its 52-week range is $10.40 to $30.15, its market cap is now under $2.5 billion, and it is worth about 5.3-times its book value. Implied Upside: 87%.
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) trades around $14.04 and anlaysts have a consensus price target of $22.92 on the stock. It is expected to lose money this year and next year and the 52-week range is $12.58 to $21.15. While there is a $1.77 billion market cap, Incyte’s is listed as having a negative book value as laibilities exceed assets. Implied Upside: 63%.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ) trades around $40.00 after a sharp drop due to an FDA warning. That may make the figures a bit distorted. The consensus price target is $54.00 but that does not include the FDA impact. Jazz trades at only about 10.6-times next year’s earnings estimates. Its 52-week range is $10.51 to $47.88, its market cap is almost $1.7 billion, and the company trades at close to 16-times an implied book value. Implied Upside: 35%.
ONYX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) trades at close to $34.50 and the consensus target is closer to $44.60. It is one which is also expected to lose money this year and next year. The 52-week trading range is $26.17 to $45.90, its market cap is $2.2 billion, and the stock trades at close to 3.5-times its book value. Implied Upside: 29.2%.
Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) trades around $20.50, above the $19.15 consensus analyst price target. The company is expected to lose money in 2011 and 2012. With a 52-week range of $12.29 to $22.37, its market cap is $2.35 billion, and it trades at close to 9-times book value. Implied Upside: NEGATIVE by -6.5%.
Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) trades around $21.40 and analysts have a price target of $27.43 for the stock. The company is another one expected to lose money this year and next. The 52-week range is $16.44 to $28.95, the market cap is $1.8 billion, and it is another one that trades with a negative tangible asset level. Implied Upside: 28%.
ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ: VPHM) trades around $19.00 and the consensus price target is $23.54. Due to an expected drop in royalties, its earnings are expected to be halved in 2012 versus 2011. Its 52-week range is $14.39 to $22.16, its market cap is about $1.45 billion, and it trades at about 1.5-times its stated book value with a large portion of assets as intangible assets. How this one looks on a standalone basis through time is a guess. Implied Upside: 24%.
On all of these implied upsides, please be sure to do your own research. We encourage our readers to challenge Wall Street analysts rather than merely following them blindly. Many cases have been there before were the analysts were just dead wrong. We also cannot help but notice how the biotech sector often has two very same observations based upon the exact same set of data, yet one analyst will say “Buy” and the other will say “Sell.”
JON C. OGG
It seems that if there is one segment that everyone agrees will continue to see consolidation, it is the biotech, drug, and specialty pharmaceutical sector. A report this week from UBS has highlighted several possible deals that it could imagine from its universe of analysts and there were four possible deals in biotech and pharma that were touted and which we think were worth mentioning.
The companies covered as possible targets were Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CADX), and Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: SLXP). We have sort of handicapped each scenario with our own outlook and shown how these compare to an overall analyst consensus.
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) is called a biotech takeover target as it is partnered with Eli Lilly Co. (NYSE: LLY), a larger company which has shown a past appetite for making deals with partners. On LLY-104, Lilly owes Incyte $616 million in remaining milestones and which it splits operating profits equally. The firm believes that Lilly could acquire Incyte in order to consolidate economics on a key product in the pipeline. With a typical premium of about 50%, that would imply a price of at least $30.00 per share based upon a $20 price target. If you include the current pipeline and technology platform, the belief is that $30.00 would be a floor. Another Incyte partnership is with Novartis (NYSE: NVS) on ruxolitinib, but the outlook is less dependent on that product and partnership. At $18.58, the Thomson Reuters consensus price target is $22.57 and the 52-week range is $10.21 to $21.15.
Both Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) are rated Buy at UBS.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) is one biotech we do not really agree with UBS on, but only because we imagine it being an acquirer to grow its enterprise. After all, its market cap is almost $27.5 billion. Still, UBS noted that Celgene is trading below an estimated intrinsic value if the company achieves success on its pipeline and receives its milestones. The idea here is a Big Pharma buyer somewhere under $80.00 per share with a value of $40 billion or so. UBS did at least note that the absolute likelihood of a deal happening here is not very high but it is more attractive compared to other large biotechs when considering patent terms, growth, and its strategic positioning. At $59.39, Thomson Reuters has a consensus price target of $66.91 and the 52-week trading range is $48.02 to $63.46.
Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CADX) was given a very short write-up in the specialty pharmaceutical sector. It was noted as being that Hospira Inc. (NYSE: HSP) could drive significant SG&A synergies by leveraging its own sales force. UBS also only has a neutral rating, but this is in that sweet spot with a market cap of $585 million. We would note that the consensus Thomson Reuters data shows revenues growing from about $21.5 million in 2011 to just over $110 million in 2012. With shares around $9.22 today, the 52-week range is $6.41 to $10.00 and Thomson Reuters has a price target of $10.14 from its analyst pool.
Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: SLXP) is also only given a Neutral rating at UBS, but its $2.24 billion market cap is one that UBS could be driven higher on synergies by leveraging its sales force to juice sales in Xifaxan. It is hard to get excited about the deal size projected too with a likely value of $2.5 to $3.0 billion.
As a reminder, just because M&A deals are dreamed about does not mean that a deal is imminent or even in the works. It is our take that some of the broad list of over 40 companies throughout many sectors not tied to healthcare or biohealth may have more attractive candidates for M&A. That is what makes a market.
JON C. OGG
Bioheath Investor is creating some ongoing outlook pieces as 2010 ends so we have an outline of what to expect for 2011. We have already given the “Best of Big Biotech in 2010″ and now we want to focus on “The Big Biotechs With The Most Upside for 2011.” Using “Big Biotech” implies market caps of those with a market cap of $1 billion or higher. It was surprising that many of those big biotechs are actually trading much higher than their projected price targets.
Our screen generated 7 of the pack with implied upside of more than 15% for 2011. Those making the screen were Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), and Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) made the grade for those with the most implied upside to the average analyst price targets with a one-year horizon.
We did create a brief table showing the tickers, the current price, the implied analyst consensus price target from Thomson Reuters, the implied upside to that target, and the 52-week trading range. More importantly, we gave an added breakdown on each with supporting data and color for building such an outlook.
|Stock||Current||Target||Implied Gain||52-Week Range|
|AMGN||$56.13||$65.39||16.5%||50.26 – 61.26|
|GILD||$36.54||$44.67||22.2%||31.73 – 49.50|
|CELG||$60.28||$70.48||16.9%||48.02 – 65.79|
|HGSI||$24.63||$35.17||42.8%||20.56 – 34.49|
|DNDN||$35.81||$52.73||47.2%||25.78 – 57.67|
|INCY||$16.81||$21.08||25.4%||8.50 – 17.48|
|ACOR||$27.60||$33.58||21.6%||24.99 – 40.48|
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) has been range-bound for so long that we have called it a Big Pharma company masquerading as a biotech. It is THE largest of all U.S.-based biotechs out there. The 16.5% implied upside to a consensus target of $65.39 would mean a multi-year high as this one has been greatly range-bound in a $50 to $60 range. We’ll be looking forward to more data on its prostate cancer indication possibilities. The market cap here is well over $50 billion and it has so far survived its political risks and reimbursement risks from Washington D.C. What else is there really to add?
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) has a high implied upside of more than 22% and it ranks among the biggest biotechs in the world with its $29.6 billion market cap. The implied target of $44.67 has already been breached before as the 52-week high is $49.50. Gilead even peaked at $55 back in 2008 before the meltdown. Its recent loss may have become InterMune’s gain.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) has become harder and harder to evaluate on its valuation versus growth, but grown it has… even if shares have been range-bound. Its market cap is north of $28 billion based on REVLIMID, THALOMID, and others. If it makes that near-17% upside to $70.48, that will be a new 52-week high and will be within striking distance of the 2007 and 2008 highs.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) is the #2 stock of the implied upside stocks worth more than $1 billion. The implied event is the FDA review of Benlysta for lupus in March 2011 and if approved it would be the first lupus treatment in the last 50 years. While the implied upside is almost 43% to $35.17, Human Genome shares have already traded as high as $34.49 over the last year. Two recent analyst calls could not have been more opposite.
Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) won the pole position as #1 with the most implied upside. Dendreon is a 2011 story as it telegraphed that its Provenge is likely to see a later in the ramp up and back-ended growth cycle as more capacity comes on line. The company is also seeking expanded Provenge manufacturing approval. While the implied upside is 47% to the $52.73 target, shares have traded north of $57.00 this year. We recently saw a very bullish outlook from a research report here.
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) is expected to have some 25% upside to its $21.08 consensus target, and it should be noted that it has a 52-week high of only $17.48. Thomson Reuters expects a decline in 2011 revenues and the story is still one that can go either very well or could backfire as its losses mount. Incyte’s market cap is still north of $2 billion and its cash is in excess of $400 million as of its September 30, 2010 balance sheet. Keep in mind that at the time of that balance sheet, debt and deferred liabilities already offset that cash balance. Incyte is one that could be a huge wild card ahead.
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) is one that is close enough to the 52-week lows that the implied upside may not be believed by many investors. The implied upside to the $33.58 target is still over 21%, but shares have come off the yearly highs by more than 30% so far in 2010. Its market cap is barely over the $1 billion line at $1.08 billion and we’d rate this another wild card for biotech investors.
As far as how these big biotech targets compare with a fresh initiation from Credit Suisse, that can be seen here. Keep your eyes out for both Human Genome Sciences and Dendreon in 2011. Those are both exponential winners and were up for review in late 2010 as they were among the field of ten-baggers with implied gains of 1,000% or more.
JON C. OGG
2010 has been an interesting year for biotech and biohealth investors. While we have had far fewer of the ‘ten-bagger ambitions’ in 2010 with exponential gains, there have been many key winners. In the “$5 billion and over” category of market caps, Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) is the surprise winner of the biohealth players. In the $1 billion to to $5 billion category, we have several winners including shares of InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ: ITMN), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), Theravance Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX), and ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM). We have taken a look at what has driven the gains as well as what the prospects are for 2011 and beyond.
Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) is sort of surprising in the $5 billion and higher category considering that it develops, manufactures, and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. It is on the equipment and systems side of the biohealth equation. Still, it appears to be the preliminary winner in biohealth for companies in the $5 billion and higher market cap. At $63.50, shares have more than doubled from its 52-week low of $29.58 and shares are down only about 5% from the high of $66.59. After the performance, the market cap is now approaching $8 billion. Unfortunately, the consensus analyst target is currently around $60.00 per share. Thomson Reuters has analyst revenue projections of $888.03 million for all of 2010 and $1.08 billion for 2011.
And the $1 billion to $5 billion category of market capitalization rates for biohealth stocks…
InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ: ITMN) makes the grade as we were looking for those performing from recoveries, but the caveat here is that many hard losses were felt. At $38.35, its 52-week trading range is $8.34 to $49.46 and it closed out 2009 at $13.04 giving it roughly 200% gains year to date. Analysts have a consensus price target of $39.17. What is driving InterMune is the recent gains made from Esbriet (pirfenidone) with a recommended E.U. approval against Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. FULL COVERAGE
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) is a close call here with shares up almost 100% from the 52-week lows… With shares trading around $16.95 with nearly a $2.1 billion market cap, its 52-week trading range is $8.50 to $17.48. Incyte closed out 2009 at $9.11, so shares are up close to 75% for the year. The consensus analyst price target is just above $21.00, giving it the most remaining implied upside if you trust analysts. This was covered back at the start of the year as being one of several biohealth stocks having the most implied upside. Shares are up on positive late-stage human study results over its bone marrow cancer drug. Analysts from Thomson Reuters see $169.6 million for 2010 revenues and $107.7 million for 2011 revenues.
Theravance Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) is currently around $26.75 with a $1.97 billion market cap and against a 52-week trading range of $9.62 to $28.84. The stock ended 2009 at $13.07, so shares are up right at 100% year to date. The average analyst price target is $25.83, so analysts see the stock being close to fully valued. This one is also a late-year runner and its gains have been tied to having raised $129 million from GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK), a vote that its joint-development of Relovair as a new lung disease and asthma drug is going well. At issue here is that the revenue story is a ways off with Thomson Reuters seeing only $23.6 million in 2010 revenues and $29 million for 2011 revenues.
ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM) is at $17.80 with a $1.4 billion market cap and a 52-week trading range of $8.18 to $18.37. Shares ended 2009 at $8.39, so shares are up over 100% for the year. The average analyst price target is almost $19.50, so some implied upside is still expected. Products include Cinryze for routine prophylaxis against angioedema attacks and Vancocin for treatment of antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis caused by Clostridium difficile and enterocolitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA strains. Thomson Reuters sees revenues for 2010 at $423.2 million and $344.4 million for 2011.
Stay tuned this week as we run all of the-bagger candidates whose shares have run up exponentially and which still have market capitalization rates of under $1 billion.
JON C. OGG
The Changing Landscape of Biotech Valuations (ACOR, CBST, MNKD, INCY, SGEN, ITMN, IPXL, MRX, SVNT, VPHM)
The biotech and biohealth universe is changing in size. In 2008 and 2009, partly due to mergers and partly due to market valuations, there had become a surprisingly small number of biotech stocks which had market capitalization rates of more than $1 billion. At one point there were only about 10 or 11 in our universe of biotech stocks that actually had market caps which were very far north of $1 billion, or at least out of the biotech stocks which followed at BioHealth Investor.
We have recently seen Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR), Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST), MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN), InterMune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITMN), Impax Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: IPXL), and Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (NYSE: MRX) either get into or get back into the $1 billion market cap club. And then we have Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SVNT) and ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ: VPHM) that have been in the club and are currently just short of it.
Due to waves of big emerging drug news and due to strong performance we now have 16 of the biotech and related stocks (at least of those which we cover as pure biotechs) which have market caps north of $2 billion. More importantly, the biotech news flow and he bull market has suddenly helped many stocks rise or at least get back above the $1 billion mark. Many of these had been there before, but the market has helped many new names get back above the $1 billion market capitalization level. And waves of mergers in the last two and three years sort of thinned out the group.
In these we did not take into consideration revenues, earnings, and not even cash. This has largely been news-driven and momentum-driven. Below is a review of each.
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).
Bill Gates, Small Biotech's New Biggest Investor (ALTH, AMAG, RDEA, ARYX, AUXL, BMRN, ETRM, INCY, ITMN, MAPP, OREX, VRUS, REGN, SGEN, VRTX, XNPT)
Late yesterday came the 13-F quarterly filing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. Bill and Melinda have invested in drugs and research before, as well as dug companies, but there was a slew of biotech stocks in their quarterly holdings. Some of these are cancer winners, while others may seem random. Below we have broken these out by company and size of the position in dollars (M for million; K for thousand) as well as the number of shares.
ALLOS THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: ALTH) $3.090M; 500,000 shares
AMAG PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: AMAG) $1.839M; 50,000 shares
ARDEA BIOSCIENCES INC. (NASDAQ: RDEA) $2.165M; 210,386 shares
ARYX THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: ARYX) $1.635M; 480,799 shares
AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: AUXL) $2.062M; 74,400 shares
BIOMARIN PHARMACEUTICAL INC. (NASDAQ: BMRN) $1.295M; 104,856 shares
ENTEROMEDICS INC. (NASDAQ: ETRM) $81K; 59,700 shares
INCYTE CORP. (NASDAQ: INCY) $1.02M; 435,700 shares
INTERMUNE INC. (NASDAQ: ITMN) $1.807M; 109,900 shares
MAP PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: MAPP) $98K; 46,524 shares
OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: OREX) $36K; 13,900 shares
PHARMASSET INC. (NASDAQ: VRUS) $821K; 83,641 shares
REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS (NASDAQ: REGN) $492K; 35,500 shares
SEATTLE GENETICS INC. (NASDAQ: SGEN) $34.718M; 3,521,088 shares
VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: VRTX) $2.729M; 95,000 shares
XENOPORT INC. (NASDAQ: XNPT) $2.517M; 130,000 shares
It doesn’t matter if it’s a bull market or a bear market for biotechs, well at at least for the most part. Every day there are select winners and losers. A bull market won’t save a one-hope wonder that fails Phase III trials, and a bear market won’t keep down the company that ends up with the new budding cancer cure. He are some from today:
- SGX PHARMACEUTICALS (SGXP) +125.55%
- BIOHEART, INC. (BHRT) +11.51%
- COMPUGEN LTD (CGEN) +9.43%
- DARA BIOSCIENCES (DARA) +8.03%
- SUNESIS PHARMACEUTIC (SNSS) +7.68%
- CHELSEA THERAPEUTICS (CHTP) +7.00%
- PLURISTEM THERAPEUTC (PSTI) +6.84%
- INCYTE CORP (INCY) +6.44%
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July 9, 2008
If you have followed the news on arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) for very long, this was a good week for the possible treatments of the disease. The annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France took place and this was the venue for many study announcements. This is only a snippet of the data and a snippet of the companies presenting, but some of the companies were Abbott Laboratories, Array, Eli Lilly, Incyte, J&J, Schering-Plough, and Roche. This is a very debilitating condition that affects millions in the US and globally as our populations are all aging.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced that its long-term data from a study of 1,469 patients showed its drug Humira, in combination with a common treatment used to treat a type of arthritis pain, led to remission of the disease for up to seven years. After six months of therapy, patients’ symptoms improved, with additional improvements seen after two or more years.
Array BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) reported on some additional positive results of its Phase I clinical trial of ARRY-162, its novel small molecule MEK inhibitor; and it reported positive results from a Phase I trial of ARRY-797, its modulator of inflammatory mediators in blood. The four-week study of ARRY-162 in patients with stable RA receiving continued doses, showed that ARRY-162 was well tolerated and with no patients that discontinued the study due to an adverse event. Its activity was predictable with no drug/drug interactions with ARRY-162 and methotrexate. ARRY-162 suppressed production of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF, suggesting that this treatment has the potential to reduce inflammation mediated by these cytokines in patients with RA.
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) presented new data that suggests patients with osteoarthritis pain of the knee treated with 60 mg and 120 mg Cymbalta once daily experienced significant pain reduction. Patients taking duloxetine reported significant pain improvement compared to placebo within the first week of treatment that lasted throughout the 13-week trial. The results from a study of 231 patients were presented at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) showed clinical results from a 28-day Phase IIa trial of INCB18424, its janus-associated kinase inhibitor, in patients with RA. Results from the first of four treatment groups demonstrated that the 15 mg twice-daily dose of INCB18424 was well tolerated and provided ACR20/50/70/90 response rates of 75%/50%/25%/17%, respectively, with responses seen as early as 1 week. These results suggest that INCB18424 has the potential to be more effective than currently available RA therapies.
J&J’s (NYSE: JNJ) Centocor and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) showed data in their Phase III human anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody study for an anti-TNF-alpha biologic therapy. Findings from two new Phase III studies showed that patients receiving every four-week injections of golimumab 50 mg and 100 mg and weekly methotrexate experienced significant improvements in the signs and symptoms of RA as well as in physical function and disease activity, with some patients achieving remission as measured by Disease Activity Score.
Roche Holding AG (OTC: RHHBY) said that it expects to increase sales of MabThera in 2008 compared to 2007 in the rheumatoid arthritis indication at the European League Against Rheumatism congress in Paris. Roche also noted that about 30% percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients who failed prior attempts to respond adequately to anti-TNF therapy saw some remission from the disease with Actemra. Rituximab results provide continued inhibition of structural damage after 2 years in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had an inadequate response to tumor necrosis factor inhibition
And the best news is potentially for boozers. Scandinavian researchers conducted two studies, involving 2,750 people who drink alcohol regularly showing that it may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50%. This assessed environmental and genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis; and 1,650 participants had the disease, and were questioned about their smoking and drinking habits. By the way, blowing out your liver isn’t a good substitute.
June 13, 2008