Jason M. writes, "As a longtime biotech investor and follower of yours, can you give an update on what you've learned about biotech and give a refresher to the newbie biotech investors? "There seems to be a lot of them out there... After Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI and a couple of other super zoomers, it looks like everybody is buying biotech without common sense. Just look at Acadia Pharmaceuticals ( ACAD. All the usual warning signs were there -- insider selling, company offering stock and questionable management comments -- but still the stock went to the moon. And then when
Gregory M. ask, "What do you think of Affymax ( AFFY?" I like the stock, although I'm hoping for a pullback because I missed a good move. I wrote a bullish column about Affymax in my old newsletter last April. The stock was at $15, but I chose not to add it to the model portfolio at that time. That was a bad choice, with the stock now at $22. For those not familiar with the company, Affymax is developing a novel, long-acting anemia drug called Hematide intended for the chronic kidney disease treatment market. Four phase III studies are under way, with results expected in the first quarter of next year. Hematide is a synthetic peptide, not a biologic protein, so it steers well clear of the patents that protect Amgen's ( AMGN anemia drugs, Epogen and Aranesp, from competition. In 2007, Amgen sued successfully in the U.S. to bar Roche from launching Mircera, its own long-acting anemia drug, because Mircera violated Amgen's patents. Affymax's Hematide is dosed monthly, making it more convenient than Amgen's twice-monthly Aranesp, which had sales of $3.1 billion last year, although not all in kidney disease.
A gaggle of readers chimed in, angrily, about my Monday column discussing Cell Therapeutics and the uncertainty around the timing -- six months or 10 months -- of the FDA's review of its cancer drug pixantrone. John M. accused me of waiting a week to write the article just to push the stock down when it was making some gains. That's nonsense. I waited a week to write about pixantrone because I was on vacation and didn't feel like wasting my beach time. Ben S. wrote to say that I make "tall claims" about pixantrone and that I should "start reflecting on what kind of gratitude you should be showing for the drug companies that are taking risks and spending millions to safeguard our lives."
Kevin writes, "Adam, great articles. I've learned a lot over the years from you. You've mentioned in the past the FDA's web site is a never-ending maze. Care to divulge how you found the briefing documents from Friday you mentioned in