And now for an update to the
Biotech Stock Mailbag Readers' Portfolio
(BSMRP), which is in serious need of a pick-me-up.
One quarter since inception, the BSMRP is down 8% compared to an almost 9% increase in the benchmark iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF. (I tracked performance through the close of trading on March 30.)
Frankly, that's lousy stock picking, my dear readers, especially considering how hot the biotech sector has been this quarter. The cause of the problem is easy to diagnose: The BSMRP is overweight too many high-risk, small-cap biotech stock picks that have blown up.
is down 54% after a futility analysis forced the company to halt its
phase III study of pancreatic cancer drug TNFerade
. The GenVec loss is even more painful because the stock had been the best performer in the portfolio with a return exceeding 70%.
The other big losers in the portfolio:
is down 47% following the negative FDA panel vote for its
cancer drug pixantrone
is down 34% on
more approval delays for its inhaled insulin device
is essentially a corpse, down 89%, after its
lung cancer drug failed a phase III study
BSMRP is a portfolio of 20 biotech and drug stocks
chosen by readers of the Biotech Stock Mailbag. The 20 stocks in the portfolio were winnowed from a master list of 93 different stocks nominated by readers in December and January.