Kent P. writes, "Is this a good time to sell Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX) now, or is more good news coming our way." I'm inclined to say hold on to Onyx. I like the recovery in the stock from $25 last month to where it sits now around $32. Nexavar is a good cancer drug. The setback in lung cancer hurt, but I think the opportunity in liver cancer is very much there and not fully reflected in the stock price at this time. Just as important, I'm hopeful that new CEO Tony Coles, who just started this week, is going to bring some new energy into the company. Let's also hope that he does something to ratchet back spending or otherwise ensure that Nexavar's success is reflected in Onyx's bottom line -- and soon. I haven't had a chance to speak with Coles yet, but conversations with other executives there, as well as with some significant institutional investors who own the stock, make me cautiously optimistic that Onyx has heard the criticisms and will make some changes. Here's a factoid that may interest only me, but I'll share anyway: I wrote my first significant story on Onyx way back in November 2002. At that time, Nexavar was only just moving into its first phase III study; the stock was at $6; the market cap a tiny $132 million. As I also pointed out in that story, by comparison, Telik ( TELK) sported a market cap of $464 million. Genta's ( GNTA) market cap at that time: $828 million! Wow! Times sure have changed.
Onward. Ron R. wants to play a game of M&A speculation. He writes: "Would it make good business and scientific sense for Gilead Sciences ( GILD) to buy Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX)? Gilead is the Master of the Universe when it comes to treatment of viral diseases, and is interested in cystic fibrosis. Vertex is the leader in the race to develop a highly effective hepatitis C anti-viral therapy, and has made a major breakthrough in discovering a drug that modifies a fundamental defect in cystic fibrosis. Gilead has the money, Vertex is cheap. Is this a fit? If you were