- Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO)
- Medarex (MEDX)
- Dendreon (DNDN)
- Telik (TELK)
- Encysive Pharmaceuticals (ENCY)
Two institutional investor friends of mine brought up Sangamo this week in separate conversations. On the same day, my BlackBerry buzzed with an email from a retail investor and InvestorVillage.com message board poster informing me that he had "upgraded" Sangamo to "possibly the next Celgene ( CELG), but definitely the next Alnylam ( ALNY)." I haven't thought much about Sangamo since writing about the company in early August, so I looked at the chart and was surprised to see the stock's move from $10 to $14. Memo to James Altucher: Sangamo is a
I had a chance to see Dendreon's revamped investor presentation Thursday, and it's a good one. CEO Mitch Gold gave a very concise and easily understood breakdown of the immunotherapeutic technology behind Provenge. He highlighted, of course, the prostate cancer survival data that almost got Provenge approved in the spring, and talked in detail about the ongoing phase III trial that the company hopes will finally push Provenge across the finish line.
I get the sense that Medarex is getting a bit frustrated about all the investor attention paid to its melanoma drug MDX-010, also know as ipilimumab. The company's presentation Wednesday spent a good amount of time on other drugs in the company's impressively deep pipeline. Yet during the 30-minute breakout session with investors, every single question concerned MDX-010 and the highly anticipated release of data from a trio of phase III monotherapy studies in patients with second-line metastatic melanoma. At the end of the Q&A session, Medarex CFO Chris Schade made a pitch for non-MDX-010 questions. There were no takers. If there were table-pounding believers in the MDX-010 monotherapy melanoma trial story present at the UBS breakout session, they didn't make themselves heard. Most of the questions were tinged with skepticism, which wasn't too surprising. Interestingly, however, that skepticism over the upcoming MDX-010 data isn't necessarily translating into big short positions in Medarex, at least from the skeptics that I hung out with before the UBS Medarex breakout session (and yes, they almost all work for biotech hedge funds). These guys don't expect the stock to fall much below $10-$12 on negative MDX-010 data, mainly because the company's deep pipeline is a sturdy buffer against total blowup. Medarex at $18 might have been a good starting point to short, but with the stock at $14.16 -- not so much, with the downside now limited. In fact, they say that a sharp drop in the stock on a negative result from MDX-010 will likely be a reason to buy for many investors. This was a point I made in my original Medarex
Encysive Pharmaceuticals has decided to stop fighting the FDA and move ahead with plans to conduct another phase III study of its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug Thelin. Smart move, but unfortunately, probably a bit too late.