"I didn't like your article on Sequenom. It was not in line with other articles that were all upbeat and positive. The data was basically perfect and you didn't give credit to that until late in the article. You didn't serve the shareholders fairly. I doubtI don't coordinate my article and columns to ensure that they're in accordance with my competitors. I don't write articles and columns to serve shareholders. I really liked the headline to my Sequenom story because it summed up the news precisely. Sequenom is using some very interesting prenatal genetics technology to develop what could be an effective and widely used screening tool for Down syndrome. But this nascent test is not perfect, which is certainly what many hoped for and expected. And I didn't write the headline, anyway. That's the responsibility of my editor, so he gets the credit. As for Sequenom, don't get the mistaken impression that I'm some raging bear. I think the Down syndrome test works. I do wonder how well it works in the real world. The data we have seen so far are well controlled by the company. The results we see from the independent studies currently under way will be key. And there's still a debate worth having about the commercial potential and the regulatory environment for the test. Just because you don't see me stamping on a table for Sequenom a la Peter Kolchinsky of RA Capital doesn't mean I dislike the company or the stock.
Jim Cramer would approve of this either. I would suggest you re-title it. The test is as accurate as anything on the market, including amniocentesis, except it's non-invasive. What more are you looking for?"
"If Pfizer is eying bapineuzumab as a key asset in its $60-70 billion dollar acquisition of Wyeth, doesn't that give you concern that your analysis of the Elan ( ELN) phase IIAs I wrote in the article, Pfizer is making a big bet on Alzheimer's disease research, but that's a different proposition from making a big bet on bapineuzumab. If Pfizer had wanted to do that, it could have bought Elan. Pfizer didn't buy Elan, it's buying Wyeth -- and for many reasons that have nothing to do with bapineuzumab. I'm not privy to Pfizer's strategy or thinking on bapineuzumab, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the company sees maintaining the financial commitment already made by Wyeth in the drug as a prudent business decision and one that doesn't cost much in the context of the entire Wyeth deal since the phase III studies are already under way. If bapineuzumab succeeds, Pfizer looks genius; if the drug doesn't succeed, the incremental money spent isn't going to break the company's bank and it still has a deep pipeline of earlier-stage Alzheimer's drugs as a fallback.
bapineuzumab datais wrong. If Pfizer has looked carefully at the data and thinks it supports a $60-70 billion dollar investment, you don't think perhaps you missed something?"
Bob F. writes:
"Can you comment on what is happening right now with Cypress BioScience ( CYPB)? After an initial pop on the stock with the approval of Savella, it seems to be stuck around the $9 range. Everything I have read tells me that the underlying value should be much higher ($12- $15 a share), but it seems to be going nowhere."Cypress BioScience and its partner Forest Labs ( FRX) received FDA approval for Savella as a treatment for fibromyalgia on Jan. 14. The approval, which came a bit earlier than expected, lifted Cypress shares from $7 to over $9. Since then, the stock has drifted back down to the mid-$8 range.
Is it possible for there to be two people named Travis both ticked off at me about my biotech scribbles? Seems unlikely, although this Travis' email regarding my bearish column on Northfield Labs ( NFLD) came from a different address: "Do some research, you piece of crap. If you were worth a grain of salt you would know the blood advisory meeting is already scheduled. You are an absolute fraud who needs to be in jail. Ask Hank Williams Jr.'s daughter if Polyheme should be approved. Why isn't that mentioned in your article? Mentioning