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Exelixis, Inc. Message Board

  • erniewerner erniewerner Jun 13, 2013 12:26 PM Flag

    Biotech in general

    I am frequently chided for being pessimistic and overly negative. I don't have a problem with this. I visit other biotech mb's from time to time and try to keep up with industry gossip. I take a particular interest in watching a train wreck in slow motion. I've followed Biomira/Oncothyrion for over a decade and my interest in that company is what gave me my first look into cancer immunotherapy. Several years ago I came to the conclusion that they were on the wrong track. History has validated that opinion twice, yet somehow the company manages to survive and recapitalize. I also watched the recent DVAX debacle. The company crashed after a bad Adcomm recommendation inconsistent with FDA's briefing documents. I traded into the stock on that basis. I did more research, came to the Adcomm's point of view, and cashed out with a nice profit. Still following the stock, I noted inconsistencies and oddities in the company's public portrayal of events, yet the stock crept back up. This was a case in which the outcome was swift and predictable when the full story finally came out.

    I'm rambling, but here's my point. Train wrecks in biotech happen all the time. Watching the mb's as they occur is enlightening. Lot's of disbelief, denial, finger pointing (usually blaming FDA), but rarely an acknowledgment that the result was foreseeable or that the poster made a misjudgment and shared in the responsibility for his/her loss. My takeaway lesson from this is that as an investor, I need to be more of a watchdog than a caretaker or curator. Biotech CEO's enjoy a great lifestyle and will aggressively tell the best story they can to keep the investment dollars coming. Hiding data, telling half truths, and sometimes outright lying are all too common in the industry. If you are going to be successful, think of yourself as a sheepdog, your account as the sheep herd, and the CEO's doing the conferences are the wolves trying to steal your sheep. I have more...

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