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Biotech Stock Mailbag: GenVec

From one controversy to another. Steven K. asks, " How many hate emails did you get on Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (CYCC - Get Report)? I'm a Cyclacel holder. I think the stock is great. I've also been a subscriber to RealMoney Silver pretty much since its inception, so I know the value-add and due diligence you provide. But looking at the message boards today, I can't believe some of the vitriol. Are you just inundated with hate mail from people who can barely spell?"


All I tried to do Wednesday was dispel a rumor -- that I did not start -- that said an article on Cyclacel's lung cancer drug seliciclib would be appearing in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Naively, I thought I was doing these Cyclacel message-board loonies a favor since they were clearly trading on bad information.

But instead of thanking me, I was pilloried and accused of masterminding the entire episode (the pump, the dump and everything in between) as a way to toady favor with my hedge-fund overlords. (The nutty story veered deeper into crazy town when Cyclacel announced another quickie stock sale Thursday.)

In an attempt to regain my sanity, I called a healthcare investor I respect who also happens to be an early Cyclacel shareholder. He calmly reminded me that the fundamental story behind Cyclacel remains compelling, particularly its lead leukemia drug sapacitabine, which is moving into a pivotal phase III study. For $75 million or so -- Cyclacel's market value today -- long-term, patient, fundamental investors are getting a pretty good deal, he said.


Now, unfortunately, Cyclacel has also become something else -- an easily-manipulated, day-trading stock that seems to be in the hands of "lunatics living in outer space," said my healthcare investor friend.

How true. These people make dead tree stumps look like Mensa candidates. But even in this case, there's a way for smart traders to make money, as Howard Lindzon points out.

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