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…
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…
It was just two days ago when we laid out what could be "the trade of the year": namely, going long Chesakeapke's $500MM 3.25% bonds of March 15, which were then trading at 80 cents on the dollar in anticipation of a Chesapeake bankruptcy, yielding a whopping 299%.
This is what we said:
... yes, Chesapeake will default, but the question is when. For those who think the company will somehow survive for a more than a month without filing Chapter 11 or arranging some prepackaged bankruptcy, and actually repays the $500 million issue, this could be the trade that makes so...
The New York Federal Reserve just announced that older Americans are carrying more debt than ever before and, believe it or not, spins this as a good thing:
New York Fed Finds Large Increase in Debts Held by Those Over Age 50
(NASDAQ) – Americans in their 50s, 60s and 70s are carrying unprecedented amounts of debt, a shift that reflects both the aging of the baby boomer generation and their greater likelihood of retaining mortgage, auto and student debt at much later ages than previous generations.
The average 65-year-old borrower has 47% more mortgage debt and 29% more auto debt than 65-year-olds had in 2003, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Friday.
In May of last year, the S&P hit a key level and stopped on a dime. We applied Fibonacci tools to the highs in 2007 and the lows in 2009, to the chart above. The 161% Fibonacci extension level came into play in the 2,150 zone last year and when hit at (1), the markets stopped on a dime.
If your tools or adviser has suggested to be long and strong since May of 2015, that advice has been costly.
Our take, “Free advice that is wrong, is expensive!!!”
The Asian session had set up for big losses, but markets were able to defend against such losses even if finishing with a lower close.
The S&P tagged the January low, but it's hard to see it holding out if there's another challenge on 1,810.
The Nasdaq was able to register a higher close (although below the prior day's close). It probably did enough to negate what is normally a bearish black candlestick, but bulls won't have any confidence until the bearish channel is broken.
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Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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