Cancer is characterized by a group of abnormal cells that grow and replicate uncontrollably. These cells’ rapid replication allows them to invade adjacent tissues and organs and even spread to other parts of the body. As they replicate, they can crowd out organs, preventing the body’s essential processes from occurring normally. Cancer, if left untreated, can hinder the body’s organs from performing their functions enough to cause death.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2009. Figures 1 and 2 show the Male and Female breakdown of different cancer types from the CDC (as of 2006) and we can understand why now prostate and breast cancer research top the list. Next comes lung, and Figure 3 shows a adenocarcinoma in the lung.
Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
Heart disease: 631,636
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
Alzheimer’s disease: 72,432
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
Figure 1. Top 10 Cancers: Male
Figure 2. Top 10 Cancers: Female
Figure 3. Adenocarcinoma – Lung cancer
For about 40 years, the pharmaceutical and government sponsored research have waged a war on cancer, and many think that it has been a failure as the age-adjusted mortality rate for cancer is essentially unchanged over that time. But that’s a deceptive metric. S. Dubner points out that the "flat mortality rate actually hides some good news. Over the same period, age-adjusted mortality from cardiovascular disease has plummeted, from nearly 600 people per 100,000 to well below 300. What does this mean? Many people who in previous generations would have died from heart disease are now living long enough to die from cancer instead."
BusinessWeek had an article on the costs of life, and as the population ages and the baby boomers start to retire, how are we to think about the costs associated with fighting cancer?
Eric C. Sun et al. (“An Economic Evaluation of the War on Cancer” (link) 2010) attempt to measure the degree to which R&D spending on cancer has benefited not only the life expectancy, but also the social and economic value to the economy.
For decades, the U.S. public and private sectors have committed substantial resources towards cancer research, but the societal
This is a brief article of where the pharmaceutical industry has been, and where it could be headed in the near future. In contrast to past articles where I focused on the pipelines of GSK, LLY, MRK, BMY and ‘biotechs’ GENZ, GILD, and others, this is a summary of the industry. The overall market continues its grind up and I am gun-shy of its continued direction, but with the passage of the health care bill, biotechs that serve niche markets will be well positioned to see a rise both in stock price and potential M&A activity. In addition, as noted on Friday, March 19th on the laggers/leaders of the past month or so, Telecom and Healthcare were at the bottom of the pile. For the review of Big Pharma and some biotech picks at the end, generic companies are excluded from most data (Merck KGaA, Mylan, Teva and Watson).
From 2002 to 2009, the top pharmaceutical companies by sales had growth rates greater than 12% (compounded annually). Unfortunately, this growth is not sustainable and should move towards flat to nominal growth by 2014. The growth decline will challenge these companies to seek more profitable routes, including licensing and acquisitions. Picking the right companies based upon the science is at the forefront of good investing. Not they will all succeed because the science is sound, but understanding the molecule, target, and the disease helps guide smart decisions. Good management helps as well!
Let's start with a summary of potential acquirers. Table 1 is a list of the 15 largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies ranked by healthcare revenue. Some companies (e.g., Bayer and Johnson) have additional revenue which is not included the sales data.
I went back over our Long Shots list from August 9th, thinking all our picks must be doing great but really only C, with a 67% gain, is really outperforming. Long spreads on UYG and BHI are on target for nice gains but haven’t moved much. Looking at our original picks in Pharmboys Phavorites from the same week, GSK is on track and up nicely already, our AZN cover is up 45% and MRK flew up 19% already. On the riskier Biotech side, ARIA’s stock is up 16% and our spreads are all performing well, ONTY has been flat, OGXI is up 33% and the Jan $17.50s are up a rockin’ 63% with that "cautious" spread up a surprising 75% already.
SPPI had a wild ride (as we predicted with TSCM’s failed assassination attempt) and the buy/write is already up 24%, the Feb vertical is up 50% and the naked Jan put sale is up 27% and our Feb hedge play is right on track so all good there and a fine example of how following Cramer and his lackeys and and doing the opposite of what they say can be very profitable! Congrats to Pharmboy for a very fine set of picks, proving once again that there is room for research and fundamentals - not a single loser in the bunch in a choppy market! It was very timely as I had mentioned just that week in my interview with AOL Finance that XLV was my favorite sector and our IHI pick of 8/10 is up 28% on the naked Feb $45 put sale while the Feb $45 calls have already jumped 16%. It was a great call as IHI outperformed XLV and all our major indexes.
So our energy service pick (BHI) and overall financial pick (UYG) have not done much in 3 weeks and those were our leading sectors into my call to cash out our exposed long calls on Aug 13th, ahead of expirations. The Dow was at 9,400 on that day and now, a bit more than 2 weeks later, we’ve gained another 144 points but to listen to the MSM, you would think you are missing the rally of the century the past couple of weeks. This is one of the reasons I’ve gotten a bit more cynical about the rally – there is so much hype and so…
This is my first shot at writing a formal post for everyone on a few biotech/pharma picks that I believe have promise for nice returns over the next 6 to 18 months.Much of the work here is a compilation of readings elsewhere, summarized for you all to make your own conclusions.Here we go:
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – has a robust pipeline in inflammation, cancer and other therapeutic areas.A few line extensions could do well generic simvistatin (Zocor) + Avandia) for cardio/diabetes.Will compete against Vytorin, and others like it.In the pipeline, GSK has an Orexin antagonist for sleep disorders (very hot area), several drugs for asthma/COPD in Phase II including a PDE-4 and FLAP inhibitor.The asthma/COPD drugs have huge potential as a monotherapy or in some combination, as they are the newest line of therapies that have come along for asthma/COPD in some time (GSKs strength). GSK also has a VLA4 antagonist for multiple sclerosis in phase II.
This is the first I have seen of this in a pipeline for clinical trials.VLA4 is the target of Tysabri from BIIB.One hypothesis is that a small molecule that binds to the receptor but does not completely knock out the receptor like a mAb may be better for MS patients.Remember, Tysabri has a potential of a rare neurological condition progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) when administered in combination with interferon beta-1a, another immunosuppressive drug often used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
One other note for growth, Amgen (AMGN) revealed its commercialization strategy for osteoporosis treatment, denosumab, one of the most keenly anticipated new drugs set to reach the market for several years, naming GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as partner in Europe and other countries.GSK has several cancer treatments as well as vaccines in various stages, so it is my belief that their pipeline is rich and diverse. Current yield is 4.8%.
The clampdown on China's shadow banking continues today, with Money Rates at Record Highs as PBOC Lets Cash Crunch Build China’s benchmark money-market rates climbed to records as the central bank refrained from using reverse-repurchase agreements to address a cash crunch in the world’s second-biggest economy.
The seven-day repurchase rate, which measures interbank funding availability, rose 270 basis points, or 2.70 percentage points, to 10.77 percent in Shanghai, according to a daily fixing announced by the National Interbank Funding Center. That was the highest in data going back to March 2003. The one-day rate rose by an unprecedented 527 basis points to an all-time high of 12.85 percent, a separate fixing sh...
The world has been watching every peep, sniffle, or innuendo associated with any voting member of the FOMC. What is the future of the latest in their ongoing market manipulation, in which money is printed to buy bonds to hold down interest rates, spur corporate borrowing, and artificially inflate stocks? Lately, that’s all investors have cared about.
Yes, it seems that all anyone has been talking about is the Federal Reserve and the timing of their “tapering” off on quant easing. There was a lot of anticipation going into this latest meeting. Fed chairman Bernanke said on Wednesday that if the economy continues to improve, their asset-purchasing program could start to wind down in late 2013 and conclude in 2014.
Stocks sold off on the news and Treasury yields spiked to 2011 highs. Int...
PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: PDCE) today announced that it closed yesterday, June 18, 2013, on the previously disclosed sale of its non-core Colorado natural gas assets.
The Company's non-core Colorado assets were sold to Caerus Oil and Gas LLC for approximately $185 million in net proceeds, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. Under the purchase and sale agreement, the transaction was given economic effect as of January 1, 2013. The assets sold are approximately 99% natural gas in terms of reserves and include an estimated 85 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of net proved developed producing reserves as of December 31, 2012. The assets produced approximately 40 million net cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day in the first quarter of...
It seems liquidity (or counterparty mistrust) is beginning to reach extreme levels in China as the nation's banking system is now quoting overnight repo transactions at 25%. The explosion in funding costs echoes the collapse in trust (and surge in TED spread) among US banks in the run-up to the Lehman bankruptcy. MSCI Asia-Pac stocks are down over 3% with China's Shanghai Composite -2.5% at seven-month lows.
China’s 1-day Repo Rate Climbs to Highest Since at Least 2006
MU - Micron Technology, Inc. – Options traders appear to be snapping up out of the money call options on Micron Technology this morning ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell today. Shares in the name kicked off the trading session in rally mode, rising as much as 2.6% to a six-year high of $14.11 in the early going, but have since turned negative to stand 0.15% lower on the day at $13.73 as of 11:10 a.m. ET. Micron’s shares are up roughly 130% since this time last year. July expiry call optio...
With nothing of international significance to predetermine US market direction, the trade from the opening bell was one of marking time in advance of the June FOMC press release at 2 PM and more importantly Chairman Bernanke's hour-long press conference at 2:30. Prior to 2 PM the S&P 500 traded in a narrow negative range and hit its intraday high at 2:01 PM, up 0.04%, Then began a three-stage selloff. The first was a brief knee-jerk sell when the Fed summary was released, one that was essentially reversed a few minutes later. The second started about 15-minutes into Bernanke's press conference, again one that was partially reversed. The third selloff came during the final 30 minutes with no reversal. The index closed down 1.39%, a microscopic 0.02 points off its in...
No change to the statement as expected and Ben is speaking now. Basically he is dovish – one takeaway which I mentioned quite a few months ago but he reiterated today. The 6.5% unemployment rate is a threshold NOT a trigger. What that means is if inflation is benign when 6.5% unemployment returns, the Fed will be in no rush to raise interest rates. i.e. the goalposts are soft, nor hard. The market rallied on that… but it's not new news really.
Also the majority of members do not anticipate selling MBS off the balance sheet – this is part and parcel with the view that the balance sheet will not...
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I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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