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Biogen Inc. Message Board

drrjohn 23 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 26, 2015 8:58 AM Member since: Nov 1, 1998
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  • Reply to

    This Is Worthy Of A New Headline

    by closertofreee Jul 14, 2015 5:09 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jul 26, 2015 8:58 AM Flag

    I was never too good at timing. Often get in too early and get out early. But as Rockefeller, or Rothschild, (or whoever) rep lie, when asked how he got rich: "I sold too early". FWIW

  • Reply to

    KIN -- any updated thoughts

    by jr330762 Jun 21, 2015 7:36 AM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 22, 2015 7:09 PM Flag

    OK, COH did not play out yet so far: "it's a long term play" ...that is what we say, if a pick goes down, don't we- but, seriously I still think COH will work out -somewhen (even IGT did: it was bought by G-Tech...well I admit, not a great investment but a low double digit gain).
    REED, hmmm, if I remember correctly, I admitted somewhen in the distant past, that the story was too long term, uhhm, therefore I sold about 1+ year ago (only to buy back a very small position at ca 5 some months ago).
    Swift energy (SFY): Hey, don't talk this one dow! I started to buy at high prices ( 6+ USD), but -believe it or not- came out with a small gain because I averaged down aggressively and sold at 3 + something. :-)
    As to those other oil&gas investments: Most of them are mildly in the green (i.e.: RES, CLB, SLB, KEX). Civeo (CVEO) ist still ca 20% in the red.
    Want some real loosers? I still own some Xoma (XOMA) andy Cytokinetics (CYTK) and some Rigel (RIGL) from the old days, all of which I won't sell... Oh yes, and I still have some Hansen Medical (HNSN): so far a terrible investment (so far)...
    All in all I made some good calls (you might be better of investing in a biotech index), but as many terrible ones
    DJ

  • Reply to

    KIN -- any updated thoughts

    by jr330762 Jun 21, 2015 7:36 AM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 22, 2015 10:25 AM Flag

    Frankly, I still had a small position of this stock (KIN) in my portfolio, until a couple of minutes ago. I sold at a loss. While KIN had 2 missteps, I don't think the story is broken. On the other side: is KIN the best place to put my money at the moment? IMy answer was: no. I put there KIN money into some Juno (JUNO), now at ca 51. As you know, Juno is one of those super hot CAR-T-stocks, a kind of stock I usually rather shy away from. However, Juno has had a nice pullback recently and I admire the way they are doing important deals with other top-notch companies (buying into CRISPR-technology, doing deals with FATE, the company I mentioned in my last post, etc).
    FWIW
    Dr John.
    PS:nice movements in MDXG lately....

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 19, 2015 11:49 AM Flag

    Congratulation on SGYP, that must have been kind of a home run for you! Unfortunately I cannot tell you what I think is the fair value for that company. For that I'd have to plunge into the background of the company/science, it's competitors, etc. , and I am already much too busy researching some of my other "ideas".
    Such as FATE (FATE, ca 100m EV, currently price ca 5.6USD/share). It is an early stage company in the stem Cell (SC) field, with very promising interim results from their ph2 PUMA study. It is a difficult story&science, therefore we cannot discuss it here in 3 words. Taken altogether I am impressed by the quality of their science, their people and think that FATE has tremendous potential in the field of prevention of complications in association with stem cell grafting; with stem cells application in the setting of pediatric neurometabolic hereditary diseases; and in reprogramming of somatic cells into stem cells. FATE's market cap is tiny in relation to the potential of this company. It is a long term story (as almost all biotech's), but I took my position now at these low prices... FWIW Dr John

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 18, 2015 3:41 AM Flag

    Thnx for the roses, but -seriously- remember Peter Lynch's "Uncle Harry principle": Never, ever buy a stock, only because your ah-so-suffessful uncle Harry owns it in his portfolio or tells you, it is a "sure winner"...!
    As to CLDX, I decreased my position (at ca 25.6) by 15% and used the money to buy more Tokai (TKAI) and Receptos (RCPT). I further upped my RCPT position which now is almost as large as CLDX. Are the buyout talks just rumors? I don't know. RCPT's current EV is ca 5 B. It is worth at least 8 B (i.e. a similar price as the recent 8 billion buyout of ITMN by Roche, or GEVA by Alexion. RCPT has almost 600mill cash, no debt and a molecule in two late stage trials targeting large patient populations. The molecule (ozanimod) works, has less side effects and a shorter half life than other S1P1inhibitors.
    My TKAI-position is now as large as my Fibrogen (FGEN) position (so far FGEN is still somewhat in the red).
    Generally speaking, all those biotech's are long-term investments). Stocks, such as FGEN, TSRO, CCXI or TGTX, or BLCM will take time to develop their full potential (the same goes for TKAI). Until then, a lot of things can happen to the market in general and to the biotech sector in particular. It is well possible that in a couple of months we might be able to buy those stocks at half their current price. However I think the long-term potential is there, reason why I try to abstain from short term trading, whenever possible (I am not always successful in it).
    Another side note: I briefly mentioned Prothena (PRTA, now at 51 USD), in my June1 post (then at 39 USD). As you remember, it's CEO, D. Schenk, is the pioneer in AD-vaccine, who brought up ELan's first generation mab against BA (which failed due to detrimental inflammatory brain reactions). PRTa is a very exciting company, albeit with an early stage pipeline (mab's against amyloidosis and neurodegenerative diseases)
    regards
    Dr John

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 16, 2015 3:51 PM Flag

    rsant1, I am not posting on any other boards (waste of time). As to the Yahoo-mb's, I am 95% on the Techne board (the people here kind of seem to tolerate my blurbs...)
    regards
    DJ

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 8, 2015 7:32 AM Flag

    As you say, the Chablis-trial and bright-trial can still disappoint. However, ANTH made one significant decision in that it analyzed the weak points of earlier SLE-trials. Due to the improved protocol, ANTH has a higher probability for success (i.e. they include only patients with biomarker-evidence of highly active SLE). One could make an analogy to Biogen's (&Neurimmune's) early success with the anti amyloid-mab aducanumab. Is aducanumab better than JNJ's bapineuzumab or LLY's solznezumab? Probably not, but LLY and JNJ and, to a certain extent also Roche, made the unforgivable (and quite amateurish) mistake: 1) to use their respective compound only in moderate to advanced AD (where the disease process is too advanced to be significantly influenced by anti-amyloid drugs) and 2) NOT to use amyloid PET imaging to screen their patinents prior to study enrollment (up to 30% of those earlier trial patients did not have an amyloidopathy!). While amyloid labeling PET compounds were less advanced a couple of year ago, they were already available.
    Taken altogether, I like it, if a company has a relatively high chance of success due to wise trial planning. Point in case: Tokai (TKAI, ca 12.1 USD) is my new small cap favorite (together with Chemocentryx CCXI, ca 9.3USD). As I laid out before (see previous mb, & see Tokai mb (only 1 message)), TKAI has a high chance of success. However the results will be out only in the second half of 2016 & a lot can happen to the stock market until then, which might be the reason for TKAI's cheap valuation. BTW, TKAI his funded well beyond those trial results.
    Another point in case: Zafgen (ZFGN, 33USD, ca 675mill EV, 235mill cash) might fit into that class as well. I have recently taken a small position (at current levels), will be completing my DD and I might take a larger bite thereafter...
    regards
    Dr John

    PS: My top (US-based) biotechs are: CLDX -- FGEN -- TKAI -- RCPT -- NBIX-- TSRO-- CCXI . In Europe Actelion is my largest position

  • Reply to

    hiden gem

    by bkfviking123 Jun 2, 2015 8:08 AM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 3, 2015 11:36 AM Flag

    Yes! (see my last post (my reply to another post))
    DJ

  • drrjohn drrjohn Jun 2, 2015 4:40 AM Flag

    I absolutely agree re: your opinion of TKAI. Not necessarily in that it will become a second MDVN, but in that TKAI's current EV of 160 mill USD is ridiculously low (see my last post on the TKAI mb). I am invested in both MDVN and TKAI, MDVN being a little bit a larger position but not much.
    regards
    Dr John

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 1, 2015 3:21 PM Flag

    CTF, in a nutshell, I think these are remarkable results, probably a tiny bit less robust in the longer follow up (reason for the lukewarm reception), but still very good as compared to what's o the market. In the past I tended to be very cautious with regard to Rindopepimut, but changed my basic attitude about last fall when the results for recurrent GMB came out showing an overall survival.
    regards
    Dr John
    PS: finally TGTX is moving a little bit as well. The stock deserves it! And: ANTH is getting more attention again. Some joey flowing out of SAGE now. It has been an outstanding performer this year and its valuation is reaching a fair plateau....

    PS: Have a look at Prothena (PRTA), Schenk's company with intriguing results in the amyloidosis trial (and of course the early parkinson's trial, some weeks back). I have a smallish position.

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 1, 2015 3:14 PM Flag

    JR, You always liked MNKD, didn't you? I think the 89 year old CEO is great. I am not so sure of the potential of inhaled insulin. Is it only a slow uptake story the way we saw it with HGSI and INCY in the past? Or will there be forever "a worm" in inhaled insulin? I, for one am cautious (Well Sanofi knows better than I do and they have a deal with MNKD...). I just tend to believe that doctors will continue to be cautious in prescribing inhaled insulin. somehow it just doesn't go down well to snuff the stuff which can make you comatose, when overdosed, and comatose when under dosed as well. and, the doctor will think, what when my patient has common cold? Etc. I might be wrong, but do not buy MNKD.

    As to IMGN: I sold. In the ovarian cancer space I put my money in TSRO (see older posts) :-)

    Sometimes (recently: most of the times) it pays to stay with losers, if you think that the basic concept is not broken. Points in case: ANTH, ACHN CCXI, FOLD, etc, and now one of my last "old losers", Oncothyrenon (ONTY). I went into ONTY a long time ago, a small position at something like 6USD. One of the reason to went into ONTY was Ch Henney, then-director of Techne who was also involved with ONTY. I lost 80%, but more than doubled my position a few days ago when movement was coming into the stock at 2.95. It's not a big winner yet, but probably a small one already (now at ca 4.2).
    DJ

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn Jun 1, 2015 3:55 AM Flag

    CCXI has superb science, but had been unlucky in translating this science into positive clinical results until recently. Now things seem to take the right turn. In the past, investor focused on the CCR9 program (Vercirnon) which failed in the trial investigating induction of remission in Crohn's disease, and GSK dropped the collaboration shortly thereafter. A new twist in the CCR9 program is, that vercinron, while not powerful at inducing a remission might be better at helping to maintain a remission. Therefore, there might be serious value left in the CCR9 program. Currently, the focus are on the -rather unexpected, for me- good results for the CCR2 program in diabetic nephropathy. All those nephropathy trials over the past decade have usually been disappointing IMO. All the more exciting, if the CCR2 program works. Most of the current spike in share price is due to the CCR2 program. I, however, always liked CCXI best for its oral complement C5aR inhibitor- program (CCX168), which is in ph2 for ANCA-assiciated vasculitis/nephropathy, and has been granted orphan status for aHUS (which is one of the two target markets of Alexion's Soliris) As you know, Alexion (ALXN), an old favorite of mine, has an EV of 30bill USD. Some observes see ALXN's franchise being challenged (medium term) by Alnylams preclinical complement-siRNA program (ALNY has a 10 bill EV). Others think that the "real hidden value" of Achillion (ACHN) is its Complement factor D inhibitor program (ACHN has a 900mill EV). The Street does not seem to notice CCXI's ORAL(!) CCr5R program (even though Th Schall writes in his CEO letter that there is extensive industry interest in this program). Taken altogether, CCXI's market cap of 300 mill USD is ridiculously low , IMO. BTW, the same for Tokai (EV of 160mill USD) (I wrote my thoughts on TKAI here and in a recent post on the TKAI mb). A third company which I mentioned in my last post is TGTX (EV of only 600mill USD; see previous post) regardsDJ

  • Reply to

    TO MUCH HYPE

    by dowd22bonnerhigh May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn May 29, 2015 4:30 AM Flag

    I never quite understood the thinking such as: "a 75% approval rate with a peak sales estimate of XY billion in Year Z, therefore if we do DCF analysis we value the stock currently at, XYZ".
    In a binary story as TKAI, there is either very significant value or almost no value at all, but nothing in between.
    Of course the investor has to decide, if he/she thinks the chase of approval is rather high or low. I am in the former camp -no idea, however, if the chance for an approval is 75%-, because:

    TKAI(Galeterone has a very sound theoretical background, why Galeteron might be superior to Xtandi or Zytiga, such as 3 mechanisms of action, as opposed to 1 or 2, whereby the fact that the AR is being reintegrated as well explains why Galeteron seems to be active in those 15-25% of CRPC with C-terminal loss of the AR (i.e. where there is no binding site for Zytiga or Xtandi). Also, several line of research has shown that unlike what some researches have postulated, dimerization of truncated and untruncated AR's does not occur at a sufficient level, for Xtandi or Zytiga to work in those cases of C-terminal loss. What's more PSA level reduction (PSA50) of Galeteron in those Zytiga-/Xtandi-resistant CRPC cases with ARV's are extremely encouraging. Knowing that PSA50 in those setting is a good surrogate marker for rPFS, which is the primary endpoint in the 145-phase 3 trial is very encouraging. BTW, the ph3 trial should lead to full approval and not only to conditional approval, if successful.
    Data so far are consistent, there is clearly an unmet need for a drug like galeterone and, last but no least, TKAI is working together with Qiagen on a kit for detection of ARV-7. What more do you want from a "one trick pony company"? I think the chance of success is quite high and the valuation at present is ridiculously low.
    FWIW
    DR John

  • Reply to

    new microcap for your review Doc

    by jr330762 Apr 10, 2015 3:26 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn May 23, 2015 7:07 AM Flag

    What I think an from what I hear, I don't think that CLRB is particularly attractive. As to the tumor-diagnosis by PET: with the tracers available nowadays Tumor diagnosis via PET is excellent. do we need another tracer? Probably for a small niche it might be ok, but not as a big business. As to I-131 for therapeutic use: I-131 is a "dirty" agent (lousy half life, difficult to obtain etc), nothing like alga's alpghadrin, which made sense i metastatic PC 8and was bought by Bayer).
    FWIW
    regards
    Dr John

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn May 20, 2015 4:49 PM Flag

    I must have a look again at MYGN. I got out from INCY between the high 50's and the mid seventies. Just for my psychological well being I bought bcd a really small position at ca 100. to be fair, I invested my INCY in other companies, some of which might have gone up in the meantime even more....
    As to MDXG: I only listed the biotech's, i.e no MDXG, TECH, AXDX, MDT, VAR, MRIC, BDX, HOLX, STJ, aso...
    regards
    DJ

  • Reply to

    follow up on some stocks (pt 2)

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 3:49 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn May 20, 2015 3:28 PM Flag

    ANAC!!! You are correct. I must have suppressed all memory on that one. Ayayay! Somewhen in the past I just was not sure anymore if the risk reward and the competitive position is as positive as I initially thought. Well guess what, I was wrong.

    As to MRIC: I think the company could not have chosen a CEO with a better background/track record than him. His Q report comments are worth reading. He is straight forward, has a quick grape of the problems and is decisive. Unifying 2HQ's at one place, of course, makes sense. I recently bought some 8% more, just below 1 USD. Most likely MRIC's stock will continue to have a bumpy performance, but the overall trend over the next years will be up, and i hope in a big way.

    Coming back to my "hard-core" US-biotech portfolio, it looks like this (according to the size of the position): CLDX much larger than FGEN=RCPT=NBIX=TSRO, which are a bit larger than MDVN=CCXI BLCM=SAGE=TGTX=ANTH, which are larger somewhat than KPTI=BLUE=TTPI=XLRN=TKAI, which again are followed FOLD=SRPT (todays winner)=CPRX=RDUS=INCY=RPRX... and then there are some even smaller holdings...regards

  • Reply to

    my absolutely unproven theory is.....

    by drrjohn May 19, 2015 2:54 PM
    drrjohn drrjohn May 20, 2015 11:37 AM Flag

    I was talking about the two main compounds, FGEN's pipeline is larger.
    I myself do not believe that the selling is due to some leaking of bad news (Of course there is always the possibility of a bad news. p-ex., a competing compound, Akebia's HIF-inhibitor, has shown some nephrotxicity). Anyway, I have been buying on the way down, essentially more than doubling my original position.
    Dr John

  • -I was also talking about Karyopharm (KPTI) when it was at 28-30 (now 26-27). Two ASCO abstracts have not been well received, an overreaction IMHO. However, my position is rather small and I do not add to it.
    -BLCM (ca 23 USD) did not move the needle yet. Patience, this is not a two day story.
    -SAGE (ca 58USD) is performing as expected and i think it almost doubled side I mentioned it in January. Well, as I said before: great results so far, a short path to registration and the potential for label expansion... what more do you want?
    -Tesaro (TSRO, ca 55 USD) and Neurocrine (NBIX, ca 43 USD) are slowly climbing, with occasional peaks and bumps. not much news flow at present, but increasing awareness of these names in the Street.

    Two new names in my portfolio: TG therapeutics (TGTX, ca 16 USD, ca 750 mill MC) and Tokai (ca 12 USD, ca 270mill MC). One could view both as "late to the party" or "me too" stories. They are not. TGTX has TG1202, a "once daily", "clean side effect profile" PIK3Delta Inhibitor (aka GILD's Idelalisib) in ph2, which seems to combine well with Ibrutinib. And ublituximab, a glycoengineered anti CD20, which is to be at least a potent, or superior to Roches Gazyvaro. Third, TGTX has a preclinical checkpoint inhibitor portfolio worth a look. Top-Mangement is solid and experienced, the MC modest.
    TKAI is the "me too" Xtandi company. But only at first glimpse. About 15-35% of CRPC (castration resistant prostate cancer) have a mutated Androgen receptor variant (ARV), such as AR-V7. These ARV are typically 80-100% resistant to Xtandi or Zytiga. However, since TKAI's Abiraterone (in ph2), unlike its two peers, also induces degradation of the AR, and results show that this drug might be effective in a large portion of those "resistant" cases. TKAI is a one trick pony, but with "ANTH-like" upside potential, and, I guess, with an even bigger chance of success than ANTH has... Anyway, I bought TKAI at ca 12 and TGTX at ca 15.
    regards, Dr John

  • I was pleasantly surprised that the market acted absolutely decent upon TECHNE's last Q report (it was not a stellar report, to say the least).
    I have been saying for over 1 year, that biotech looks topsy. Still, I buy new stocks, which I find attractive in this sector. I might better stick forever to the stocks I already own and, frankly, I make at least twice as may mistakes as good moves. The worst mistakes are usually those where I sell a good stock too early (for whatever stupid reason). Want a couple of namens? GILD, ISRG, IDXX, ILMN, PCYC; yes, even INCY, or ALXN fit into that scheme. Okay with the money I buy new names, which usually perform rather decently.
    I do not shy away from buying back into a stock which I have previously sold, whenever I think that my previous sale had been ill advised. I have, lex, been buying back into MDVN (at ca 104) and I had sold some BLUE (got into BLUE at 25 or so) and bought back a larger position soon thereafter, at the same price (ca 120). Recently, I have been buying back into Receptos (RCPT) twice (bought at 25 sold at 46. Bought at 60 sold at 125. Bought at 145, this time my largest stake). And I have been adding again (in fact doubling) my stake in Chemocentryx (CCXI) at ca 7. Leafing through their AR (yes I still read PAPER!) I was impressed again by their pipeline, especially re: their oral C5a antagonist. NO WAY that their EV should be a mere 250 million USD!
    I was talking highly of Fibrogen (FGEN) when it traded at 30. It went to 40, but now it hoveres at 18.5. What's the story? I dunno. for different reason, I think that there is one large seller and that there is not "fundamental problem" with the company/one it's two compounds. I think FGEN has an exceptionally interesting pipeline/future, (albeit a lot of things can go wrong until the medicaments hit the market.) A 1 Billion market cap for FGEN? I though it interesting at 1.7B, even more so now. I have been more than doubling my position...

  • ...a) as always with biotech, bad news which we don't know is on the way. Can always happen. We can't control it. It hits hard, especially in a company with only two compounds in the pipeline.
    Against this theory is the recent "passed safety bill" for the HIF-drug and -so far- rather bland SE profile. But one never knows.
    ...b) Insiders, such as the CEO do not seem to sell significant quantities (I would never, ever expect Neff to sell his position)
    ...c) lets switch to the seller: Usually a "large hedge fund" is the culprit. (If it is not the "short sellers" it is a "large hedge fund"). Now there is one LARGE hedge fund, ADAGE Capital partners, the largest institutional owner of FGEN. If you look at the March 31 file it seems as if Adage was already cutting back its various stakes in biotech stocks. But they had ONE BIG NEW POSITION, in fact their largest position after Apple: PUMA Biotech! As you know, Puma is THE big looser in this year's "ASCO-abstract-release-play". Therefore, one of the big guys at Adage might have been thinking: 1. Who the hell was buying us into this PUMA stuff? 2. What kind of mid stage Biotechs with only a short track records do we have left in our frig'n portfolio (one is FGEN). 3. Lets get rid of some of these stocks, I don't care about the price (and if we are at it, let's get rid of the guy who ran us into PBYI as well)....

    or something like that... enjoy!

    Dr John
    PS: I, for one, am buying on the way down. Is it a clever move? Let's see in two years (or when the fat lady sings).....

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