) -- Happy Black Friday! The Biotech Stock Mailbag comes to you today 50% off (in length) due to the holidays. I'll return in full strength next week.

Scott L. writes, "

Please name one company with a drug that you think has the best chance to be partnered on great terms within the next six months. Thanks.


Tough question! You're putting me on the spot by asking for a single stock. But if I had to choose just one, I'd say



and its depression drug TC-5214.

The phase II data on

TC-5214 as an add-on therapy for depression

were absolutely stellar. This is the type of drug and indication that sits perfectly in Big Pharma's comfort zone, so I expect Targacept to land a lucrative partnership.

Bob M. writes, "

I know you've given the thumbs up to ImmunoGen (IMGN) - Get Report in the past. How do you feel about the upcoming Dec. 12 data release on the TDM-1 phase II trial. Do the recent sales by four of the directors concern you?


I continue to like ImmunoGen and I believe the phase II data of TDM-1 in third-line metastatic breast cancer patients will be positive. Results from the previous phase II data were strong, including in patients pretreated with

Herceptin and Tykerb

in the first and second lines of therapy.

This doesn't mean I'm completely worry free. While I believe the response rate from the upcoming TDM-1 study will be robust, the duration of response also needs to be strong so that


can make a convincing case for the drug's approval.

I'd also keep close tabs on ImmunoGen's stock price as we get closer to the Dec. 12 presentation date. If the stock runs into the data, the risk of a sell-on-the-news reaction increases, even if the data are strong.

Remember, ImmunoGen only receives a small, single-digit royalty on TDM-1 sales from Roche/Genentech and the market opportunity in third-line breast cancer isn't very substantial. ImmunoGen will have a better chance to earn larger royalties if/when T-DM1 proves to be effective as a second-line or first-line breast cancer drug.

My selection of



Henri Termeer as

Worst Biotech CEO of 2009

continues to draw praise.

Tom P. writes, "

Regarding your "Worst Biotech CEO" story: The topic is like a fat pitch to a home run hitter. I hope you'll write more about the personalities in the biotech world. I'm a clinical psychologist and also do some consulting with businesses and organizations for choosing employees and dealing with problem employees. The worst CEOs among organizations seem to be narcissistic or paranoid personalities whose personality styles (which may have carried them to the top) finally fail them -- they shoot themselves in the foot. The interpersonal and organizational dynamics involved in the FDA approval process are, it seems to me, the perfect field on which such CEOs destructively play out their troubles -- for example, in conflicts with authority (the FDA) or in actions based on their narcissistic notions (common in entrepreneurial MDs) that they (and their drug candidate) are 'exceptions' and deserve special treatment.


Great insight. This means, of course, that biotech investors need to add a CEO psych profile to their normal course of due diligence.

I received a bunch of angry email on last week's takedown of


and its

ActiPatch pain-relieving electro-magnetic device


A.B. writes, "Once again you are one cold

Bleep for your comments on BioElectronics. YOU will be

Bleep with at some future point. Karma is a

Bleep, man.

While Paul K., a bit more politely, says, "Obviously, you know nothing of PEMF technology. You forget to mention that BioElectronics holds patent to the technology in a miniature form. The study: It was a head to head study, purpose of which was not to test efficacy (that's been proven) but to COMPARE. They've done blind studies before. When BioElectronics receives marketing clearance in the next few weeks, I expect an apology via one of your articles. Hocus Pocus? Come on. You sir, are a knucklehead."

Let me be very clear. The FDA is not going to grant BioElectronics a medical claim saying that the ActiPatch pain device provides superior pain relief compared to acetaminophen.

This. Will. Not. Happen.

Whether BioElectronics simply ignores the FDA and continues to make unapproved and unsubstantiated pain-relief claims about ActiPatch remains to be seen. Investors should stay away from this penny stock disaster in the making.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback;

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