@ adamfeuerstein SNTA getting hit hard, do you suspect SNTA to respond with a PR/Statement of some sort?Bit hard to ignore, I would think?— Bill H. (@bheafey) May 8, 2013Synta Pharmaceuticals ( SNTA) had a rough week, starting with the surprise and sudden resignation of R&D chief Sumant Ramachandra for "personal reasons." Ramachandra was hired in February so his exit just three months later is concerning, exacerbated by the presentation of ganetespib lung cancer data coming up next month at the ASCO annual meeting. Also see: Biotech's Next Big Thing: ASCO Is there something wrong with the ganetespib data which prompted Ramachandra to leave Synta? We don't know, of course, but the question itself explains the stock's weakness this week. Synta had previously told investors the analysis of the ganetespib lung cancer data would be conducted in May. Was it done before or after Ramachandra resigned? Synta IR guy George Farmer wouldn't say. So, we wait for the presentation of the ganetespib lung cancer data, set for June 3 at the ASCO meeting. Also see: Repros Patent Problems Began When Harry Met Joe The phase II "Galaxy-1" study compares ganetespib plus docetaxel against docetaxel alone in second-line non-small cell lung cancer. Synta last presented data from Galaxy-1 last fall. Here's what the overall survival curves looked like:
@ adamfeuerstein Expecting an article from you about $ZGNX FDA approval..Take Care and continue your excellent review— Green Wizard (@901Wizard) May 6, 2013I don't know the exact reason behind the FDA's delayed approval decision on Zogenix's ( ZGNX) painkiller Zohydro (an extended release formulation of hydrocodone that doesn't contain acetaminophen.) I am fairly confident that whenever FDA does get around to deciding Zohydro's fate -- Zogenix said a decision could come this summer -- the news will be bad. Bottom line: FDA is no longer approving painkillers with abuse potential. Zohydro is abusable, therefore will be rejected. I agree with the bearish take on Zogenix and Zohydro published last week by Jake King at PropThink.
Yesterday sold $ARNA to buy more $SRPT - Could not be happier. RT "@ adamfeuerstein $ARNA withdrawing EU application for Belviq. Oooops!"— Matt Stohl (@mattstohl) May 2, 2013Excellent decision. Speaking of Sarepta Therapeutics ( SRPT), here are my two, new favorite eteplirsen data slides, unveiled by CEO Chris Garabedian during his presentation last week at a healthcare investor conference. He also spoke about them on Thursday's first-quarter conference call. The first slide, showing studies in which untreated kids with Duchenne muscular dystrophy decline on the six-minute walk test, supports the decline in walk distance recorded by placebo patients in the phase II study.
@ adamfeuerstein.Time to change your opinion on ARNA?— carl s (@mikezzz111) May 7, 2013No. We had two pieces of expected news from Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA) in the past week: The rejection of Belviq by European regulators and the completion of the long-delayed DEA scheduling that will finally allow the weight-loss pill to launch next month. The latter did not produce the "mother of all short squeezes" envisioned by the Arena longs because investors shorting (or planning to short) Arena want Belviq to launch. Weak efficacy and questionable heart safety plus big out-of-pocket expense for patients will equal poor Belviq sales.
@ adamfeuerstein Well I'm sure they will try to raise money soon. What's your opinion on $OMTH?— Eminatorus (@Eminatorus) May 7, 2013Omthera Pharmaceuticals' ( OMTH) market value ($166 million) is cheap relative to Amarin ($1 billion market value). That's about the most positive thing I can think to say about Omthera. I struggle to be excited about a third, prescription fish-oil pill for lowering trigylcerides. Amarin ( AMRN) is having enough troubles selling Vascepa, making it hard to see how Omthera would have any better luck with its Epanova pill.