Pardon me, but I have a few things to say about...
The latest example: Tuesday night's announcement that two next-generation cystic fibrosis drugs were finally moving into mid-stage clinical trials. Great news! Encouraging! Bullish for Vertex' continued dominance of the cystic fibrosis treatment market.
And then came Vertex' quarterly conference call where talk turned to the safety of the two next-generation drugs seen in pre-clinical and phase I studies. One of new drugs (VX-152) caused nausea and vomiting, albeit at a higher dose than what's moving forward in the planned phase II study. The other next-gen drug (VX-440) was associated with teratogenicity risks in a preclinical study, so adult female cystic fibrosis patients enrolling in the phase II study will be required to use "non-hormonal" birth control.
Vertex didn't express any alarm over the adverse event profile of its next generation cystic fibrosis drugs, and moving the drugs forward is good news. However, like most corporate updates offered by Vertex, the good always seems to be tinged with some new risk or concern.
Asked to comment on the soon-to-be-completed phase III study of Eli Lilly's (LLY - Get Report) Alzheimer's drug solanezumab, Biogen said a "sola" win would be great news for its own Alzheimer's drug aducanumab.
But what if the "sola" study fails?
No worries, that wouldn't mean anything negative for aducanumab, Biogen said.
Meanwhile, Biogen CEO George Scangos remains a lame duck. The company offered no substantive update on the search for his replacement.
3. The thrill is gone for sell-side lovers of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) . Analysts are downgrading the stock and cutting sales estimates on the leukemia drug Iclusig in reaction to criticism of Ariad's egregious price-hiking practices.
"We DO NOT see a high likelihood of a potential acquirer stepping up in the midst of a congressional inquiry / climate of ongoing pricing scrutiny," J.P. Morgan analyst Anupam Rama writes, downgrading Ariad to a sell.
Takeout speculation was pretty much the sole reason for Ariad's outperformance this year. That's over, so Ariad shares have fallen 36% in two weeks.
Can someone please explain, why $SRPT is free falling everyday?— Jun An (@JunAn98) October 26, 2016
When was the last time a biotech company launching a new drug saw its stock go up after approval? Anyone remember what happened to Relypsa in the weeks and months after the Veltassa launch?
The fall in Sarepta Therapeutics' (SRPT - Get Report) stock price from the $60s right after Exondys was approved to the mid-$40s today should not be surprising. That doesn't make it fun for anyone still holding Sarepta but like any company launching a new drug, it's much easier for investors to take profits, sell now and wait for later evidence of a strong commercial launch. That's a standard play in biotech investing.
The continuous whining from the Sarepta ankle biters still angry about the Food and Drug Administration daring to approve Exondys is probably contributing to the stock's weakness.
Oh, by the way, Humana's decision to reimburse for Exondys became effective Wednesday. Did you also know the first Duchenne patient to receive commercial Exondys received reimbursement from Anthem? Yes, that same Anthem that now says it won't cover Exondys. Or, will it?