Stories from Yesterday’s Market
We are not claiming that the market volatility has subsided and the leadership has shown and is in full control of the chaos. But yesterday biotech stock performance made us feel that investors are regaining their common sense and trying to benefit from the catastrophic plummeting of the member firms stock prices. Today’s trading seems negative for the biotech stocks, but the movement of stocks are moderate at least and give the impression of a more or less normal, rather than crazy attack on one of the most productive industrial sector in the stock market.
Here is some of what happened in firms belonging to what we call Top-Tier biotech group.
Caprice, greed, nonsense and downgrades for trivial, or inapplicable irrelevant claims can cause the best stocks to plummet, but not those that have treasures in hand. Rebound in those firms is aggressive. After AMGN lost over 25% of its value, the time has come for the aggressive rebound and the stock gained $6.83, closing at $148.05.
The treasure in Amgen is its cholesterol-lowering Program, which has more than the novel Repatha that has been approved and is already on the market. All the negatives claimed by the negative people about this firm is total nonsense, but it worked. Are you asking us Why? Why don’t you ask those who listen to irrelevant fabricated, or exaggerated stories, believe them and instigates selloffs so they become the losing followers to the winning profiteers.
We believe that in normal conditions AMGN will reach our targets, the 1st, which might be realized after the end of 2015 and the second on time, or even before time. The reason is that the treasures we are talking about is not only in the novel anti bad cholesterol drug. It is in many of the newly approved products and the promising products in the firm’s deep pipeline.
Regeneron (REGN) rebounded yesterday after the blood bath that showered the whole biotech sector. The stock closed at $485.76 UP $25.94. The reason or reasons are obvious and are the same we have been preaching since we picked this stock at around $83 on March 18, 2011 (see Prohost Portfolio) in the Prohost letter. The firm success is totally and completely based on the criteria of success in this case these are:
- Excellent innovative technology.
- Better products with more efficacy and less side effects
- Growing sales of marketed products with tremendous revenue and income growth
- deep and very promising pipeline products.
Do not forget its multi-billion dollar treasure anti-cholesterol drug Praluent, which has recently been approved and marketed. (Read our yesterday posting).
About Gilead (GILD) Cramer said “It sells at 8.5 times earnings, that’s ridiculous. You know it’s one of my four horsemen of biotech in the big pharma apocalypse. I think Gilead is a buy right here.”
The stock closed at $100 UP $2.73
According to Health Care, Inc., “Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) is responding well to a bullish analyst report released Tuesday by FBR Co. FBR set a price target of $73 per share for Juno — higher than the stock has ever been — and gave it a rating of “outperform,” expecting it to fare slightly better than the market average.”
JUNO gained around 10% on Tuesday and 3% yesterday closing at $48.74 UP $1.42
In the News
CompuGen and Immune Check Point Proteins
Let’s first begin with the Immune Check Proteins, so people can understand what we are talking about. The immune checkpoints are receptors and their ligands. They are created to maintain self-tolerance, which means protecting the body systems and organs from injury caused by immune system’s unwarranted aggressive attacks while fighting infections and other diseases, or insults.
Unfortunately, cancers hijack the immune checkpoint protein receptors, magnify their suppressive impact on the immune system, preventing it from attacking them. This is a major reason for cancer resistance. Recognizing this fact, researchers in pharmaceutical and biotech firms identified immune check point targets and created targeted therapeutics that inhibit the immune checkpoint protein, lifting the break put on the immune system capability to attack malignant cells.
The new immunotherapy approaches have shifted the treatment paradigms for several major cancer types. the newly developed therapeutics that block the immune checkpoints have proven to boost anti-cancer immunity, enabling the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the tumor cells with durable anti-tumor responses, destroying the cancers.
The new immunotherapy approach to treatment provided impressive clinical benefits. It enabled long-term survival, even on patients with advanced cancers. Beneficiaries of treatments included end-stage cancer patients.
CompuGen’s (CGEN) predictive technology enabled it to discover novel immune check point protein targets for cancer immunotherapy. The firm then validates its discovered targets before embarking on developing therapeutics.
The most recently news was announced in a poster presentation at The inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference Translating Science into Survival being held in New York City, Arthur Machlenkin, Ph.D., Head of Immuno-Oncology Research in CompuGen, presented the predictive discovery and experimental validation of certain other CompuGen-discovered novel drug targets for cancer immunotherapy. CompuGen has also disclosed new target validation results for one of these candidates known as CGEN-15052.
Certain immune checkpoints present in the tumor micro-environment have been shown to inhibit T cells, which are a critical component of the anti-tumor immune response, and therefore suppress the immune system’s ability to destroy malignant cells, thus allowing tumor growth.
The new target validation data presented at the conference demonstrate, as expected from an immune checkpoint target candidate, that the expression of CGEN-15052 on cancer cells in a syngeneic mouse animal model enhances tumor growth compared with control cancer cells. In addition, CGEN-15052 was previously shown to bind to activated T cells and inhibit human and mouse T cell activation. Combined with the high expression of CGEN-15052 found in the tumor micro-environment of multiple cancers, such as lung and breast cancers.
Outcome: The presented results suggest that CompuGen-discovered protein has the potential to serve as a highly promising immunotherapy target for multiple cancer types.
Anat Cohen-Dayag, Ph.D., CompuGen’s President and Chief Executive Officer expressed the firm’s enthusiasm for the further progress the firm has made made in validating CGEN-15052 as a novel immune checkpoint target candidate for the treatment of cancer. The validation results to date, both in vitro and in an animal setting, support the therapeutic potential of inhibiting CGEN-15052 and thus restoring immune response against cancer.”
Dr. Cohen-Dayag added, “The excitement being generated by the clinical results of the few cancer immunotherapy drugs now available highlights the need for additional immuno-oncology drugs to treat the majority of cancer patients for whom these current therapies are of little, if any, benefit. Therefore, the continuing demonstration of the potential of the large number of novel immune checkpoint target candidates discovered by the Company in a variety of cancers and immune cell sub-types is very exciting from both a medical and commercial standpoint.”
Good news indeed and we have no reason not to believe it. All we are waiting for now to be renew our enthusiasm is to see a movement towards getting partners that advance any of the firm’s potential breakthrough discoveries into human clinical trials.
For long we have been fascinated with CompuGen’s predictive sophisticated technology. The time has come to reap the fruits of this great technology. We want to see human beings benefiting with the immunotherapy treatment targeting the immune checkpoint protein targets that this technology has identified and validated.
Immunotherapy is a game changer in cancer treatment and patients with advanced cancers are being referred by their oncologists to be treatment by immunotherapy in clinical trials. The results are more than satisfactory and the firms that have investigational immunotherapy products are well-valued, much better valued than CompuGen.
We Know have met with Dr. Cohen-Dayag and some of his team years ago and we left with huge enthusiasm towards the technological capability the firm was building towards making the firm the best ever center of predictive medicine.
Now, we are reminded and we again, we remind, that the time has come for the firm to reap the fruit of its great built-in technological capability.
Trust me Dr. Cohen that the first drug that targets one of your firm’s discovered Immune check point targets, would probably double, or triple CGEN market cap.
We are anxious to see our wish comes true as soon as possible.
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