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)

October 19, 2011 · Filed Under analyst calls, Cancer, dendreon, Financial, M&A, R&D · 6 Comments 

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

2011 Biotech Sector Outlook Hinges on Genzyme Deal (GENZ, BIIB, LIFE, ILMN, DNDN, HGSI, SNY)

November 10, 2010 · Filed Under analyst calls, M&A · Comment 

We have previously outlined how the bull market is leaving biotech in the dust.  With a lack of exponential growers in 2010 compared to 2009, there is a sad state of affairs that may be the most crucial element of all for biotech in 2011.  Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) could be the one critical element for the whole biotech sector.  We would pay particular attention to Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), and Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), depending upon the outcome of the Genzyme situation.

Genzyme shares have slid after the Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) offering peak and the larger company has asked Genzyme to come to the bargaining table.  So far, Genzyme is looking for and hoping for a higher bid.  So far, Henri Termeer’s stance has been that the offer undervalues the company and that the offer is opportunistic.  So far, the stock has remained above the $69.00 offer.  If Genzyme shares fall under that $69.00 offer, more shareholders may just decide to tender their shares to Sanofi-Aventis and call it a day.

So, why is Genzyme key to the whole sector?

Again, biotech has lagged the market and the sector has headwinds from patent issues, to cost controls out of D.C., to a more harsh FDA when it comes to drug approvals.  Goldman Sachs issued very cautious research on the sector as a whole, with one exception.  The biggest issue is that this tender or a rival deal could unleash more than $17 billion that would have to find a new home.  For institutions and for many investors alike, it is not an unheard of event that money in one sector has to now find a new home inside the stock of another company in the same sector.  At $70.23, Genzyme has a market cap of roughly $17.9 billion.

Unlocking $17 billion or more could create significant interest in the biotech and biohealth players that are smaller than Genzyme.  Our data shows that there are more than 20 biotechs smaller than Genzyme which are valued at $1 billion or more by market capitalization.  The next closest smaller companies tied to biotech are Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), and Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI).

This is giant for US biotech, and it is number four by market cap in US-listed biotechs  as the table shows:

Company (Ticker) $ize
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) 54.0B
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) 30.7B
Celgene Corporation (CELG) 26.9B
Genzyme Corp. (GENZ) 18.2B
Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) 13.6B
Life Technologies Corporation (LIFE) 8.9B
Illumina Inc. (ILMN) 6.2B
Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) 6.1B
Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI) 5.4B
Qiagen NV (QGEN) 4.2B
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (ABII) 3.1B
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMLN) 3.1B
Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdi (TLCR) 2.8B
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) 2.3B
Techne Corp. (TECH) 2.3B
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc (REGN) 2.2B
Charles River Laboratories Int (CRL) 2.1B
Incyte Corporation (INCY) 1.8B
Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. (MRX) 1.8B
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX) 1.7B
Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SVNT) 1.5B
Theravance Inc. (THRX) 1.4B
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR) 1.3B
Seattle Genetics Inc. (SGEN) 1.2B
ViroPharma Inc. (VPHM) 1.2B
XOMA Ltd. (XOMA) 1.0B

JON C. OGG

Key Biotech Short Selling Changes in November (AMGN, BIIB, CELG, GILD, GENZ, GERN, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

December 10, 2009 · Filed Under Financial · Comments Off 

We have now seen the changes in short selling in biotech stocks via the late-November short interest report from NASDAQ.  This marks the changes seen at the November 30, 2009 settlement date versus a November 13 settlement date.  We have given short interest data on Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD),  Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP).

Again, the change reflects the November 30 date versus a prior date of November 13:

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) 18,247,560 shares versus 15,888,876, a gain of 14.8%.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) 8,914,221 shares versus 8,201,010, a gain of 8.7%.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) 19,334,491 shares versus 20,330,539, a drop of -4.9%.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) 7,800,195 shares versus 8,122,937, a drop of -4.0%.

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ) 3,835,576 shares versus 4,531,522, a drop of -15.4%

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) 13,846,894 shares versus 13,653,745, a gain of 1.4%.

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) 8,686,786 shares versus 8,950,719, a drop of -3.0%.

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) 9,881,341 shares versus 9,105,303, a gain of 8.5%.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) 17,100,782 shares versus 17,571,094, a drop of -2.7%.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) 8,353,185 shares versus 8,538,392, a drop of -2.2%.

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP) 5,471,010 versus 5,517,134, a drop of -0.8%.

JON C. OGG
December 10, 2009

Could Affymetrix Be Next Takeover in BioHealth? (AFFX, CALP, LIFE, QGEN)

December 9, 2009 · Filed Under Financial, genomics, M&A, R&D · Comments Off 

Everyone wants to know which stocks in biotech and medical technology will be the next buyout target.  It is rare that research reports or interviews from traditional brokerage firms point out an obvious takeover candidate, but that is exactly what came about in shares of Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) this morning.  We first saw a move today in the company’s stock options volume on the heels of an analyst’s comments today.

The company is into consumables and systems for genetic analysis in the life sciences and clinical healthcare markets with its integrated GeneChip microarray platform including disposable DNA probe arrays consisting of nucleic acid sequences.  It also operates or sells in North America, Europe, Latin America, India, the Middle East, China and the Asia Pacific regions. It has collaboration partnerships with Caliper Life Sciences (NASDAQ: CALP), CapitalBio Corporation, Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Pathwork Diagnostics, and Qiagen (NASDAQ: QGEN).  Of these partnerships, Qiagen and Life Technologies are both far larger than Affymetrix.
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Key Biotech Short Interest Changes (AMGN, GILD, BIIB, CELG, GENZ, GERN, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

November 11, 2009 · Filed Under Financial · Comments Off 

We have now been able to see the short interest changes that took place over the month of October-2009 in the world of biotech stocks.  There were some key gains seen in a couple names, but the overall trend in biotech short selling seems to be down.   We have given short interest data on Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), and Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP).

Key data is below with the short interest and the percentage change from mid-October to the end of october:

Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 14,737,921  -9.5%
10/15/2009. 16,286,597

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 16,198,837  +10.2%
10/15/2009. 14,703,407

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 7,370,581  -4.6%
10/15/2009. 7,725,108

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 8,574,239  -2.9%
10/15/2009. 8,827,991

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 5,118,715  -36%
10/15/2009. 8,085,099

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 12,907,169   -1.9%
10/15/2009. 15,152,295

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 7,746,689  +8.0%
10/15/2009. 7,173,192

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 8,427,630 +0.4%
10/15/2009. 8.398,235

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 17,160,491  -4.5%
10/15/2009. 17,967,328

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 10,199,665  -17%
10/15/2009. 12,347,842

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 5,415,588  +4%
10/15/2009. 5,212,729

JON C. OGG
NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Biotech Short Sellers Changing Beat (AMGN, GILD, BIIB, CELG, GENZ, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

October 12, 2009 · Filed Under Cancer, dendreon, Financial, General, vaccine · Comments Off 

Over the weekend we got to see some of the short interest changes for the key biotech stocks.  While these was no clear unified directional move, there were some interesting changes seen.  Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), and Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ).  Due to growing market caps in the sector, we have also included Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)in the run down this month.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  18,363,198.. 5% GAIN
9/15/2009  17,449,497

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  16,015,311.. 3.8% GAIN
9/15/2009  15,466,285

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,177,698.. 9% DROP
9/15/2009  8,935,957

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  9,459,673.. 1% DROP
9/15/2009  9,565,418

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,771,379.. 19% GAIN
9/15/2009  7,388,108

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  6,799,196.. 3% DROP
9/15/2009  7,033,841

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,939,869.. 2% DROP
9/15/2009  9,146,253

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  19,786,339.. 1% DROP
9/15/2009  19,867,823

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  13,171,869.. 5.7% DROP
9/15/2009  13,928,154

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  5,444,450.. 5.8% GAIN
9/15/2009  5,137,212

JON C. OGG

Geron Delay Dulls Stem Cell Sector (GERN, ASTM, CYTX, NBS, STEM, KOOL, OSIR, LIFE, CCEL)

August 18, 2009 · Filed Under fda, stem cells · Comments Off 

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) has some bad news in the land of stem cell investors.  The stem cell leader has announced that its Investigational New Drug application for a cell therapy for neurologically complete, subacute spinal cord injury has been placed on clinical hold by the FDA pending the agency’s review of new nonclinical animal study data submitted by the company. This is an order that the FDA issues to a sponsor to delay a proposed trial or to suspend an ongoing trial.

As a reminder, no patients have yet been treated in this study.  But this has investors spooked, even if it is just for a review of additional data.  Stem Cell stocks often move hand in hand, and these are the other issues to watch on the news:

  • Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM)
  • Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX)
  • Neostem, Inc. (NYSE: NBS)
  • StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM)
  • Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL)
  • Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR)
  • Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
  • Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CCEL)

Geron noted that the company has been undertaking studies to enable dose escalation of its spinal cord injury product and has also been investigating application of the product to other neurodegenerative diseases.

The company has also been performing additional product characterization and conducting further animal studies and the data from this work has been submitted to the FDA. Geron said that it will work closely with the FDA to facilitate the review of the new data and to release the clinical hold.

JON C. OGG
AUGUST 18, 2009

Persistent Merger & Acquisition Talk In Stem Cell Sector (GERN, ASTM, CYTX, NBS, STEM, KOOL, OSIR, LIFE)

May 21, 2009 · Filed Under R&D, stem cells · Comments Off 

It is not uncommon at all to have takeover rumors in the drug or biotech sector.  That is also true in the speculative groups inside this.  But we keep hearing the notorious “takeover chatter” in the stem cell sector, and particularly in Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN). This is out there again, but be advised that we have seen the same notes getting passed around on multiple occasions with nothing that has ever come from it.

What we wanted to show you was where these stocks are now compared to the date of March 9, 2009 when the Obama administration was signing the executive order breaking the Bush ban on embryonic stem cell funding.  Some of the other stem cell companies are as follows:

Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) is at $0.40, and was at $0.62 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $69 million.

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) is at $2.83 and was at $3.20 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $97 million.

Neostem, Inc. (NBS) is at $2.16 and was at $0.69 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is almost $17 million.

StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) is at $1.75 and was at $2.15 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $182 million.

Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL) is at $0.55 today, was at $0.57 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $31 million.

Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR) is in a stem cell pact with Genzyme, but for adult stem cells.   This is a $12.19 stock, and shares were at $17.97 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $399 million.

There is also a much larger company called Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) and it has the Invitrogen unit that has many efforts, including a focus on creating unique primary and stem cell models for better and more efficient drug screening.

We would describe takeover chatter in this sector as something that feels like more fiction or a stretch rather than something we’d consider as any documentary evidence.  The stem cell sector offers wonderful promises and wonderful cures for many diseases and conditions.  But that is also after the ethical argument has been made.  Despite the positive studies and the positive indications, the group overall is still in its infancy and there are now many international patent issues in the sector because this was largely off-limits for about seven years on the new development front from new lines of stem cells.

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