Current charting through stochastics states an oversold security. Still an upward trend. CELG is basically flat on a bottom parabola and will get higher. Not to mention earnings are today. Did anyone read the Bill Gates interested in CELG article?
CELGENE CATCHES BILL GATES EYE
For chief executives of startup biotechnology companies, traveling hat-in-hand to investor conferences in pursuit of new financing is an unrelenting task.
So it was a particularly good day for Michael Pellini , CEO of Foundation Medicine Inc. , when an unsolicited query from Bill Gates popped up in his inbox last September.
The co-founder of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and global-health philanthropist had heard about Foundation's new cancer diagnostic test and wanted more information about the company. The email didn't mention any interest in investing in Foundation, and Dr. Pellini wasn't actually looking for money--the company was poised to announce it had closed on a new round of financing. But Dr. Pellini wasted no time in responding.
"I felt like it wouldn't be a bad idea for Bill Gates and his team to know what we're doing," Dr. Pellini says.
The two met for about 45 minutes the following week in Pebble Beach, Calif. The discussion led ultimately to this month's announcement from Cambridge, Mass .-based Foundation that Mr. Gates was among three investors who put up a total of $13.5 million , expanding the full amount the company raised in a Series B financing round to $56 million .
The additional capital was hardly a make-or-break investment for Foundation, whose $5,800 test is already a hot topic in cancer medicine. But the tale of how the company caught and secured the attention of a high-profile investor like Mr. Gates offers a window into the world of entrepreneurial startups, where the right mix of connections, promising science and a bit of chemistry makes the difference.
Foundation's test analyzes tissue biopsies for alterations in some 280 genetic mutations that are suspected of driving growth and proliferation of tumors. More than 700 oncologists have ordered the test, which was officially launched in June, in an effort to match patients with medicines that target the genetic anomalies specific to their tumors.
Novartis AG (NVS, NOVN.VX), Sanofi SA (SAN.FR), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Celgene Corp. (CELG) are among drug companies that are using the test to help identify new drug targets and broaden the use of existing medicines. The test is also expected to help recruit patients to clinical studies and potentially speed drug development.
Mr. Gates was initially drawn to the company in part through conversations with Eric Lander , director of the Broad Institute in Cambridge , and someone Mr. Gates says he stays in touch with to "stay up to date with the latest genomic stuff." Dr. Lander was a leader of the Human Genome Project and is a scientific founder of Foundation.
Another connection came through John Doerr , general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, a prominent Silicon Valley venture-capital firm that along with Google Ventures and founding investor Third Rock Ventures , of Cambridge , comprised Foundation's early backers.
It was at a CEO Summit in Pebble Beach marking Kleiner Perkins's 40th anniversary in September where Mr. Gates and Dr. Pellini held their initial meeting. Dr. Pellini was among CEOs of the venture firm's portfolio companies who presented at the summit. Mr. Gates was a featured speaker.
The meeting took place in the board room of the Inn at Spanish Bay . "Bill asked me for a lot of information ahead of time," Dr. Pellini says. "He came in extremely well prepared." His questions focused on getting an understanding of the science and the potential impact on patients, Dr. Pellini says.
At the end of the conversation, Dr. Pellini recalls, Mr. Gates "leaned back in his chair and said, 'I get this. People will want it.'"
Dr. Pellini had his picture taken with Mr. Gates. But the two didn't discuss the possibility Mr. Gates would invest in the company.
That came two months later, in November, when Mr. Gates's team got back to Foundation, starting discussions that culminated in this month's announcement.
The Foundation transaction marks Mr. Gates's latest foray into life-sciences investing. He also holds stakes, through Cascade Investment LLC , his personal investment arm, in New York -based Schrodinger LLC , and Nimbus Discovery LLC of Cambridge , firms using sophisticated computer technology for drug development. The investments are separate from Mr. Gates's philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation .
For his part, Mr. Gates says advances in cancer genetics generally are pointing to new ways of treating patients and discovering drugs. "They seem like they're really jumping on that opportunity," he says. The test "is forcing medicine to think in new ways. We'll have better survival rates because of it."
Foundation has competition. Other companies and academic research centers are developing similar tests. Some experts think the ever-lowering costs of mapping a person's entire DNA could eventually make that a more attractive approach to find tumor-causing mutations.
Dr. Pellini says that so far, the analytics behind the Foundation test have turned up a mutation that is potentially targeted by a drug--either ones on the market or in clinical trials--in about 70% of cases. While anecdotal reports suggest some patients have benefited, further study is needed to determine how doctors use the findings and how patients fare long-term.
One other factor played a role in Mr. Gates's decision to invest: He said he paid for a test for a friend whose treatment for cancer with conventional chemotherapy wasn't going well to see if a "unique profile" emerged.
"Enough came out to suggest trying some things," Mr. Gates said. "It's not clear where it will go, but it's nice to have something to try."