Archives — June 2012 back to current month (35)
Innovation, efficacy and convenience are keys to success in medical devices and diagnostics. Put those elements together with underfollowed names and you have uncovered buried investment treasures. Medical technology research analyst Caroline Corner has assembled a short list of hidden jewels destined for incremental acceptance and then rapid uptake by physicians, clinics and hospitals. In this exclusive interview with The Life Sciences Report, Corner talks about her favorite small-cap companies, none of which are household names.
Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Overhaul (06/28/2012)
"The ruling sent hospital stocks soaring by near-double-digit figures, with industry leader HCA Holdings Inc. jumping by 10%, along with Health Management Associates Inc. Medicaid insurers also jumped on the news, with WellCare Health Plans Inc. up more than 9%."
"A divided U.S. Supreme Court let stand the streamlined process for finally bringing biosimilar drugs to market. The act mandated the creation of an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products shown to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed biological reference product."
Device Industry Renews Efforts to Fight Tax (06/28/2012)
"The 2.3% excise tax on medical devices would have essentially been negated if the Supreme Court had overturned the healthcare law, but the 5–4 decision leaves the revenue measure in place."
GAIN Act Should Benefit Antibiotic Makers (06/27/2012)
"The bill was designed to accelerate reviews of novel drugs for infectious diseases, to mandate electronic NDA submissions and to improve communications between manufacturers and the FDA to prevent drug shortages."
Better Lucky than Good (06/26/2012)
"Now think about it: If siRNA can essentially turn off genes by destroying them through a sort of sequence-detection, then what stops them from curing diseases? By knocking down the activity of one or several genes, RNAi could potentially block a plethora of diseases."
Drug Pipelines Improving (06/26/2012)
"Drug industry productivity is finally improving after years of research disappointment, as drug makers shift their focus from mass markets to making medicines for rarer, undertreated diseases."
Speedier Drug Reviews Await Presidential OK (06/25/2012)
"If the president signs the bill into law, FDA will be committed to reviewing and acting on 90% of standard applications within 10–12 months from the date of filing and on 90% of priority submissions within six to eight months from date of filing."
"Immunotherapies—for autoimmune diseases as well as oncology—are now one of the two top fields of interest for Joe McCracken, the global head of business development at Roche, who also sees a bright future in matching immunotherapies to particular patient populations."
"Nonmammalian, plant-based biomanufacturing also has a very big advantage in safety. Using a plant cell system is like having a biological firewall that protects against the transmission of infectious organisms to patients via the therapeutics."
The Price of Togetherness (06/22/2012)
"The growing demand for drugs in emerging markets means that some of these collaboratively developed drugs may eventually reach much broader audiences, meaning larger populations over which to recoup development costs, bigger opportunities for rare disease indications and acceptable profits even if prices are forced lower."
Raghuram "Ram" Selvaraju, an analyst I recently interviewed for The Life Sciences Report, began his initial career in translational drug discovery at Serono in 2000 with early and remarkable success. As a young researcher he demonstrated real insight and ability when he discovered the first novel protein candidate ever developed entirely within the company. Fast forward to March 2012, and we find Selvaraju in the middle of another singular event, when he became the first analyst ever hired by Aegis Capital Corp. in the company's 26-year existence. In between these extraordinary life experiences, Selvaraju managed for get himself ranked as a #1 "Best on the Street" analyst in the Wall Street Journal in 2006 when he was at Rodman & Renshaw.
Every year, top researchers and physicians meet at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions. This year, Canaccord Genuity Analyst and Managing Director William Plovanic reported back on promising developments and what they could mean for the companies behind them. In this interview with The Life Sciences Report, he explains why he is so positive on the space in general and about certain companies in particular.
Medtech Execs Bullish on Industry Growth (06/21/2012)
"Whatever concerns people have about the FDA, real and imagined, medtech executives are solidly bullish about the global prospects of the medical device and diagnostics industry."
Healthcare Sees Emerging Future in Frugal Innovation (06/20/2012)
"Big companies like General Electric and Siemens, which build some of the world's most complex and costly pieces of the healthcare kit, are working to develop cheaper medical devices that can secure sales in emerging markets and potentially win business at home."
BIO 2012: Implications of the 'Patent Cliff' (06/19/2012)
"No doubt the patent cliff is reshaping the industry, but the good news is that the market for prescription drugs will grow by 3.1% per year between 2011 and 2018 to reach $885B, according to figures compiled from the forecasts of the leading industry analysts."
"Pharmaceutical companies have gotten more aggressive in pushing for a national framework to avoid the costs of complying with individual state tracking laws. Industry groups said they would continue working toward a federal track-and-trace system."
You Should Give These 4 Antibiotic Picks a Shot (06/19/2012)
Needham and Company Senior Biotechnology Analyst Alan Carr is known on Wall Street for his meticulous research in the realm of molecular medicine. Before joining the firm, Carr, who did his doctorate work in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, worked in the technology transfer group at Yale University. He successfully out-licensed a number of proposed drug candidates and technology platforms there. That kind of work requires a thorough knowledge of drug discovery, development, deal-making and valuation, which is what Carr brings to the table as a sellside analyst. Indeed, after settling in at Needham, he began publishing a series of Hitting the Target industry reports in 2007, one of the first being 5-HT Receptors, where he performed diligence on companies that were attempting to exploit the 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) pathway. Later he would publish his classic Antibiotics and the Ribosome installment, followed by an Antibody Drug Conjugates edition, as well his 72-page Acute Myeloid Leukemia report. There were others, and I loved them all. So, when I got on the phone to interview Alan for The Life Sciences Report story, Reap Biotech Profits from Overlooked Spaces, I was particularly anxious to hear some of his newer thoughts and ideas.
Immunotherapy Comes of Age at ASCO 2012 (06/18/2012)
"At the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in early June, there were over 300 abstracts relating to immunotherapy. The technology's advancement is evident by its growth."
"The first question remains open: What intellectual material is patentable? The second was partly answered by Justice Breyer in Mayo v. Prometheus: What has to be added to a law of nature to make it a patentable process?"
Leveraging the Medical Device Tax (06/15/2012)
"Stakeholders should leverage the tax in their projections and negotiations with the industry, especially during mergers and acquisitions, notwithstanding the ongoing push in Washington to repeal the levy."
Raghuram "Ram" Selvaraju's professional career started at the Geneva-based biotech firm Serono in 2000, where he discovered the first novel protein candidate developed entirely within the company. He subsequently became the youngest recipient of the company's Inventorship Award for Exceptional Innovation and Creativity. Now an analyst with Aegis Capital Corp., Selvaraju is bringing biotech growth names to his firm's customers. In this exclusive interview with The Life Sciences Report Selvaraju shares stock ideas that could return significant gains to investors.
Tiny the Mouse Takes a Giant Step for Mankind (06/14/2012)
"Don't be fooled by this little mouse's name, because what Tiny represents in the world of regenerative medicine is anything but tiny."
Five Ways to Spot the Next Hot Biotech Stock (06/13/2012)
"For all their potential, biotech stocks remain among the most challenging for investors to identify, select and earn money on. However, with a little bit of guidance you can narrow your list to the stocks with the highest likely upside."
"The biotech industry is hoping the Supreme Court will do what Congress hasn't been able to do—give companies a fighting chance against class-action shareholder lawsuits claiming 'fraud on the market.'"
"Glaxo, which collaborates with Human Genome on three drugs, may raise its bid to $15 a share to overcome the company's poison pill."
ETF Trading Report: Pharma, Consumer ETFs in Focus (06/11/2012)
"The pharma sector experienced a boost in trading activity to start the week. Volume across the pharma space was high as investors sought exposure to perceived safe havens."
A Star Is Born at ASCO 2012 (06/08/2012)
"This year's ASCO winners appear to have solid momentum that is allowing them to buck the 'sell ASCO' mantra."
Within the investment community, the story goes that new antibiotics can't generate big profits and central nervous system (CNS) drugs are too difficult to develop. Investors worry they could be throwing good money after bad. Senior Biotechnology Analyst Alan Carr of Needham & Company refutes these tales and believes that product differentiation provides the formula for success. In this exclusive interview with The Life Sciences Report, Carr shares his deep industry knowledge and renders his very best ideas in the CNS, antibiotic, antiviral and metabolic spaces.
House Votes to Repeal Medical Device Tax (06/07/2012)
"The Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012 would repeal a 2.3% excise tax on gross sales receipts in excess of $5M for manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, including defibrillators, pacemakers and prosthetic limbs. Congressional budget officials estimate that the tax would raise nearly $30B in revenue between 2013 and 2022."
"The study is one of the first to explore how this technology, called bimodal dual AC mode microscopy, can improve our understanding of human tissues and biomaterials."
New AMA Chief: No Chaos with Court's Health Ruling (06/06/2012)
"The AMA has supported Obama's health overhaul, though a vocal contingent of doctor-members has urged the group to back off that stance."
Six Biotech Stocks Riding the Baby Boomer Wave (06/06/2012)
"While no one has discovered a cure for Alzheimer's, cancer, Parkinson's or other ailments that come along with old age, several biotech companies are racing to cure a long list of diseases and disorders. The prospects are daunting but the possibilities in the biotech field are literally endless, for patients and investors alike."
"While breast cancer's pink ribbons have become a cottage industry, many of lung cancer's victims—even if they are nonsmokers—are less enthusiastic about being the face of a disease that many people view as self-inflicted. But several presentations at this year's ASCO meeting suggested that scientists are beginning to make inroads into the disease, which kills more patients than breast, prostate and colorectal cancer combined."
"Accumulating clinical and immunologic evidence presented at this year's ASCO meeting moved autologous cancer therapeutics further toward meeting the need for less-toxic therapies."
|"We believe our valuation is conservative when considering how solidly RP has demonstrated functional improvement in at least two cell therapy markets."|
|"RGS' strategy is to partner its product opportunities for development and commercialization, allowing it to focus on early-stage product development."|
|"Our investment thesis for RVX is based on a large and growing underserved market in cardiovascular disease."|
|"DRRX's data indicate that NASH patients had 10-30% greater drug exposure as compared to MCS, and DUR-928 was well tolerated overall."|
|"PMN has achieved a lot with very little, and its understanding of the mechanism of action of Alzheimer's is quite significant."|