Hi, I am new to this board and have learned a ton from all. I have over 3k shares and am ecstatic over the recent gains. Some questions would love to hear from the experts:
1) Is anyone concerned about: Athcars huge $29K price tag?
2) Are there any studies that show Acthar works better than steroids? If so, that is HUGE becuase i know personally how bad long term steroids use side effects are: stunted growth, huge moon face, osteoporosis
3) Is there any risk that it got FDA approval in the 70's and of this being over-turned?
Thanks so much!!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I should have said win6060 on question 2 that ACTHAR as a sum total of its studies generally shows much, much better results than steroids in suppressing the immune system . But it would be fine if it were only as good considering the toxicity and that some patients can't use steroids because of this toxicity.
Mr. Fuller has posted volumes on QCOR as many have on various studies. Mr Pharmaman also. Mr Fuller is easily ired by attacks on QCOR, but maybe if you ask he'll direct you to some of his work.
I believe people sometimes have little contact with a subject and start out at a pretty basic level. With your steroid related question let me ask is that what drew you to the stock? Your basic thesis? And what did you invest on if you have so little grasp of the stock? 3k shares is a lot of money to throw around. I sometimes think I do better when I'm naive or at least see people do better than me who limit their knowledge and simplify the issues surrounding a stock.
1 Yes anyone who understand s the tyranny of a gov that is now doing things by edict and targeting anyone they want for political gain should be scared that ACTHAR could become a poster child for a gov who will demand drug companies and doctors slash their income to propagandize for horror care. But not right now. And everyone should watch the political situation closely as it relates to the ability of the current administration's ability to throw its weight around. By then people will have made their money, I'd say the inflection point will be starting in 2014 and will be an issue for investors then.
2 Yes there are many studies, which indication are you talking about (just being a smart ass)? Although many are not extensive, anecdotal and not double blind which I have a problem with as a scientist, the quality is not incredibly high. ACTHAR has an incredible luxury, that work has been done since the fifties and studies do not have to be based on the strictness and involve the costs and scale of new drugs. However I'd say it's established fact that as a total pattern ACTHAR results show that it generally suppresses the immune system with few to nil side effects, which makes the drug a genuine blockbuster considering the mechanism by which the immune system regulates itself. The standard is low side effects.
3 No. I don't even know how to answer that without spewing volumes of known familiar, info and going off into areas that would require depth to explain reasoning. How often does this happen?
Mikey. - go easy...i can vouch for this guy, and he is sincere in his questions - pls try to give solid responses. He trusted his friend and read many research reports then bot the stock(and is happy) and just wants to do some additional due diligence.
I am by no means an expert, but I'll take a stab:
1) price tag is a non-issue; there are a lot of other drugs that are more expensive (see other posts referencing Alexion) and Acthar has orphan drug status for Infantile Spasms and is working towards continued orphan drug status for other indications (which elude my memory right now).
2) Of course Acthar has side effects, but Acthar helps the body produce its natural cortisone, vs. say prednisone. More importantly, side effects are a non-issue in light of how Acthar is used: as a drug of last resort for patients who do not respond well to the usual treatments like prednisone. Acthar is necessary and in some cases life-saving.
3) Questcor has kept up-to-date; do a search for "FDA Approves H.P. Acthar Gel for the Treatment of Infantile Spasms" - its a press release that describes the FDA's approval for IS, and goes into a slew of other indications.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Hi, I am new to this board and bought 3k shares but did no research even though there are plenty of articles out there debunking my short claims that never panned out.
His first post, ever, under the moniker of win6060, and he must take us all as fools. Or else he is the world's biggest doofus. How subtle some shorts try to be. I do notice the absence of some of our former resident shorts. Wonder what they are doing these days?
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Hi, in a late night drink fest, I took a WSJ and hung it on a wall. Seeing I had a dart in my pocket, I decided to throw it at the WSJ pages. It landed on something called QCOR, so I decided to buy 3K shares. With all the negative thoughts, what should I do? Dump it all and buy some scratch offs?
Read this just out! If Alexion is worth $110.00 then Questcor should be worth at least $150.00 by comparison.
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Login Share on emailEmailShare on printPrintClose To New Highs, Should You Like This Biotech?
By Sherrie Stone - July 16, 2013 | Tickers: ALXN, QCOR | 0 Comments
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Sherrie is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR) has a particularly fascinating history, having been at the center of controversy for the better part of its existence. For several years, investors have enjoyed large returns, and the company has marketed its only product, Acthar, with exceptional success. As it approaches new highs, should you take notice?
The Center of Controversy
Questcor Pharmaceuticals markets and develops Acthar Gel. It's a treatment for infantile spasms and multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and nephrotic syndrome. Questcor acquired Acthar Gel in 2001 for just $100,000, and has produced sales of $550 million over the last 12 months alone.
Questcor has been at the center of controversy, as bearish investors argue that cheaper drugs work just as well if not better than Acthar at treating each of its indications. Moreover, tightening insurance coverage, fears of generic competition, and aggressive marketing tactics have made the stock’s future rather controversial. These controversies pushed shares from $52 to $18 in September 2012.
Nonetheless, since 2001, shares of Questcor have traded higher by 7,200%, which goes hand-in-hand with a drug, Acthar, which has increased in price from $50 a vial to $28,000. Questcor has recovered from its 2012 lows and is now trading near $50.
Is It Really That Bad?
The short case for Questcor is obvious: Acthar is too expensive; the company is too reliant on Acthar; the company’s pipeline is not largely developed. These problem areas sound like another company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN), a company with just one genetic disorder drug, Soliris, which has a price tag over $400,000.
The investment perception for these two companies is quite different, as investors anticipate a $25 billion buyout for Alexion but then worry about Questcor’s $3 billion market capitalization. However, there are a lot of similarities between the two companies, since both rely on a single product used in various indications.
Both Alexion and Questcor have top-line growth of 40% year over year, but Alexion trades at 17 times sales, while Questcor trades at 5 times sales. Moreover, Questcor is trading at just 10 times next year’s earnings, and Alexion at 32 times next year’s earnings. Therefore, Questcor is cheaper, but the lingering questions surrounding its business practices and the future of Acthar often scare investors.
What To Do?
As an investment, I genuinely like Questcor Pharmaceuticals. The stock is essentially flat over the last year, yet its fundamentals have continued to grow. Hence, making the stock cheaper.
In addition, many of investors concerns back in September about falling sales after tightened insurance coverage have not materialized. The company has since implemented a dividend of 2% and continues to buy back its stock, something we have yet to see from Alexion.
Lastly, I really like the company’s recent acquisition of Synacthen. This acquisition removes an overhang that could have been a threat to many of the company’s indications for Acthar. Questcor can now use the two drugs in synergy, marketing the better of the two for specific indications.
With that said, I think Questcor is valued attractively and has already proven itself as a continued growth company. Moreover, the manufacturing process used with Acthar – including spare animal parts and hormones – makes it exceedingly difficult to replicate, and Questcor has not been forthcoming with its manufacturing process. Therefore, Questcor faces no competition, much like Alexion. But it's still priced very reasonably, unlike Alexion. As a result, with all things considered, I think Questcor should be on you biotech watchlist.
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Sentiment: Strong Buy