And they spread The Plague, and a dozen of them meet once a month and plan everything that will happen in the world. And Myriad is a Utah company, and they're all Mormons and aren't The Mormons a Lost Tribe of Israel?
Everything is getting complicated. I'm falling back on looking for timing of new cash streams. I honestly think that a passed price increase or three will produce more from the sum of MF and PV than the stated plan, but I don't have the genuine data. The IDO compound, at best, remains just outside my skeptical 18 month to money time frame. Immune alopecia may generate off-label sales, but approval of the indication for Ruxo is unlikely because of toxicity...maybe for another compound. I agree that PaCa should be worth a quick $20 upon assurance of success, but unless Janus 1 is halted for slaughter that is more than 18 months off. I consider the most likely outcome of Janus 1 (say late January) to be a worthwhile increase in survival but an extraordinary reduction in cachexia. That would be enough to generate off-label use, but not to get accelerated consideration of a label expansion. The combination that arrested a model of AML is interesting because Incyte has unique access to worst-prognosis AML patients.
I'm not sure that a couple days of normal behavior after [or in the middle of] an incredible run need a description. I might call a drop to $106- a consolidation.
I'm sticking with ASCO being more likely to be weak than strong, mostly because the ignorant [read: professional analysts] have forgotten that Incyte has possible competitors. The CC will probably be positive.
The cancer stuff is genuinely a big deal, but I talk to a certain number of skeptics, and the recurring thread is "what will bring in money over the next 18 months?" I only see 2 big possibilities in the cancer space: in the unlikely event that Janus 1 is halted for slaughter, it would pay on that time scale. And if the drug combination that arrested AML (which I don't think is in the clinic at all yet) can generate a good phase 2, it also could go right to sales (and Incyte will know about most cases of post-MF AML).
Yeah, mostly institutional. I suspect that a lot of institutions aren't buying for the reason I'm not buying right now: we expect the up move to start gradually, and meanwhile we expect shenanigans like the recent press release (The shorts may be more imaginative than I am, but my next move would be to have Susan G Komen and a couple thousand demonstrators in front of The Capitol demanding that Myriad "share" its database. Probably cost well under a mil, and the situation is getting serious.
This next is just a guess: the short stock is probably on the accounts of some big players (position size suggests about 3). They borrowed it using repos with Treasuries on the other side, so the rental price is low, but the deals have to be renegotiated occasionally. It is, on their books, the short side of an "unrelated hedge" (they are long a similar principal amount of a basket of health care stocks). Since the other stocks have outperformed Myriad, they don't look so bad, net. But the approximately 25% move of Myriad against them itches. They are probably thinking about now that the easy money has been made in health care, and they'd like to move on. But to do that, they have to close both sides of the hedge, not just the long one. On top of that, each individual piece of the case for Myriad to go down is crumbling. The value of a potential future pot of gold is dictated by extensions of the "Black-Scholes equation," where time works against you and rising interest rates reinforce that. The itchy bad short threatens to become a carbuncle.
There will be a time when the threats force shorts to buy; I'm guessing August when the full strength of myRisk demand will first be reported.
Your science is worse than your truthfulness (I don't rub my education in people's faces too much, but the BRCA genes are what we call dominant genes of moderate penetrance. Consequence is that you can't breed out the traits by dilution)(Again to the most public example: AJ's mother had quite assorted ancestry). Your estimate is uninteresting. Your apparent political stance is getting interesting.
"I never said the brca was exclusive to Jewish women" lakeside63a
"Good spiel, but what is the brca really? It's officially listed as a "founders effect" defect, caused by inbreeding. It means your ancestral pool started out with a few fundamentalist, believed they were God's chosen, and only mated within that pool for many generations." lakeside63a
"We report, you decide" Fox News
Consider also that pharmacy inventories of Jakafi were depleted as of the start of the quarter. On the other side, though, we ought to be hearing about exhaustion of already-expensed Jakafi API inventory.
I wrote a long reply, but apparently fell asleep before posting it, and frankly it was a little too rude. I checked the NIH web site and the BRCA1 Wikipedia entry. It is not even close to true that dangerous BRCA mutations are exclusive to Jewish families--give quotes if you choose to dispute that (It appears likely that AJ's BRCA1 mutation came from Dutch ancestors). The variants of unknown significance tend to be relatively recent (which is why they are uncommon) and of lower threat than the spectacular ones (so the family pattern wouldn't be obvious).
In any event, the issue is now 15-25 genes considered worth testing for (and evaluating), not just 2.
A test for genetic cancer risk and a test for the presence of cancer are different things. The most obvious example of why the latter doesn't replace the former is that someone choosing treatment for a known cancer benefits from knowing whether it is hereditary or sporadic.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”
You're trying to make this simpler than possible. Many easily classified variants in BRCA are in fact old and well-seasoned. But the stuff of present argument, the variants of unknown significance, tend to be more recent mutations, or old mutations with small recent changes to them. And of course, for other oncogenes there is less history available.
The questions addressed are important: lumpectomy or bilateral mastectomy? Colonoscopy every 10 years or every other year?
I admit to a cruel streak.
The core short position is about 30MM shares. It was put on over a fairly short period around the Supreme Court decision that a patent on a human gene is not valid. The stock price at that time was in the $25-30 range; I use $28 as a plausible number. At the time, there was talk comparing Myriad to a drug company whose sole product went off patent. This was, even then, clearly a bad analogy. The number of professional bears is fairly small, and most of them are very bright--easily bright enough not to commit decent fractions of a billion dollars on a shaky analogy. There aren't enough small shorts to add up to a large fraction of $1bln. I conclude that a small number (one is possible, but no more than say 5) of large players have that core short position--and they're hurting, to the tune of about 25%. That small a group can work as a team.
These people MUST cover. If not in fear of the move I predict for late Summer, then at least in the face of the 7% average annual appreciation of the market as a whole. They would LIKE to cover at $28 or below, for no or minimal loss. It is not enough for them to push the price of MYGN down (well, it may cut their Maalox consumption); the price has to stay down for a substantial amount of stock to cross. The GS downgrade failed miserably at that. I don't know whether to call the present flap a press release or a planted news story, the difference is subtle; but a couple hundred shares crossed at $32 and the price drop is not persisting.
I don't hate shorts; they're some of the most entertaining people in investing. I've taken that side in a small way a few times. But I can't cheer for them when my money is on the other side.
And by the way: I think my writing style is recognizable. No sock puppets.
"Anyone" can do a test and determine whether you do or don't have the "consensus sequence" of the BRCA genes. If you have the consensus sequence, that's good enough. But these are big stretches of DNA, and differences from the consensus sequence are common (realistically, more common than the full consensus sequence). What differences ought to cause concern? THAT is what Myriad can do better than anyone else and better than anyone else is likely to do, well, ever. UNLESS, of course, Myriad's database is seized. And that's more a question of seized legally than of stolen, because if I do gene tests and have Myriad's database to interpret variants, the only way I can justify being paid extra is if I can SAY that I have the Myriad database--which I can't if it's stolen property.
Why won't big guys like Quest and Labcorp generate a database just as good over time? Well, you've certainly had medical tests done by them. Did they come back to you periodically and check how you are? Of course not. That isn't the way they do business. But that's the way Myriad does business, and it's the way a variants database gets built up. Unless medical testing companies recreate a little Myriad in-house (which will do guess what to their pricing) they won't build the database.
It is probably politically impossible for the US Government to seize Myriad's database, no matter how bitter a campaign is mounted. It might be possible, though, for them to require a copy of every oncogene sequence generated going forward. And The Census Bureau is very good at follow-up. In that case, the database would be built to match Myriad's in a few years. Somehow, though, I don't see that happening either (show of hands: does the government have a right to your genetic sequence?).
Possible, but last week the friendly price was probably over $250. Today? I don't care to speculate. Still under $400, though, so I'd just as soon keep riding.
It IS closer. The friendly price was probably around $200 when the stock was $35.
At this point, I could suggest some drug trials that anyone who would even consider taking a $150 offer might be enrolled in.
A cash settlement of remaining Jakavi milestones might be possible, and would be about the right size. Or some portion of Bari royalties might be sold back to Lilly.
This is the last time I will reply to you, for the obvious reason.
The short squeeze hits in August. That has been my call for a long time. I was temporarily mistaken about shorts making an orderly withdrawal because I was following days to cover rather than shares short: the shorts are holding firm [we'll see if they cover significantly on this pullback] while trading volume rose. If they wait until CMS announces reimbursement for substantial use of Prolaris in June, we'll see $50+.
ITMN was neither my only nor my biggest good call, but this situation has something in common with it: the event I'm counting on is very nearly inevitable. The risk of holding a short position for a very long time is excessive. When it becomes evident that Myriad will not fail entirely and likely that the stock will rise for several years, the shorts must cover. (for ITMN, it was guaranteed that their drug would become approvable if a trial with an 80+% chance of success, based on abundant experience, succeeded).
Free for nothing: INCY, if it remains independent, will at least quadruple by 2020.
Today's [too obviously planted] stories about a paradise of cheap genetic testing have an interesting feature: the proposed shared, curated database of gene variants would have a membership fee, and perhaps a per-use fee. Multiply the floated numbers by 10 (since Myriad has at least 10x the data of everybody else) and you get numbers that start to be interesting. You can read the apparent declaration of war as containing a proposed [still lowballed] peace settlement.
If I was Mr Myriad, I might be inclined to make a [public] counter-offer along those lines. Say 30% of gross testing fees and you send at least 30% of your detailers per year to our training program, and we'll do your interpretation for genes we cover.
Just wanted to isolate one theme: several of those drug combination results were in the "This sh.t just doesn't happen" range. Clinical results are NEVER as good as the models, but entire drug families grow out of results that good.
And in case there was any question about the buying of journalists...
The other testing companies negotiated away the possibility of using anti-trust law to seize Myriad's databases. Today, we see multiple news stories promising a paradise of cheap and accurate genetic testing if only Myriad "shares" its data on the same basis as those who have nothing to share.
As a Leftist, I feel strange defending collection of monopoly rents (that is, letting the owner of a unique data collection charge more than a nominal price for its use), but this monopoly was obtained legally, even ethically. If Labcorp, Quest, The French Government and a bunch of people I'd probably like in California want it, let them offer a realistic price. I live in one of the cities that had a bitter eminent domain battle this century. In the US, there is a very high barrier against government seizure of private property for the benefit of other private parties.
Myriad is pretty high up the list of hated companies. We're gonna be more hated.
I hope they warned key people what was coming, but from the small number of questions I'm guessing not. No way would I have called that an investor presentation.
Very impressive technical presentation indeed. I had an internet burp near the end and missed some of the talk about how they'll go forward, but I'd guess that priority will go to the fastest likely paths to market. AML, while rare, has subtypes that have horrible prognosis. Second-line AML is probably licensable based on a very good p2. Myeloma is more common (still rare) and generally has a fairly benign prognosis today, but the treatments are brutal (to get decent 5-year survival, lethal marrow ablation with stem cell rescue is pretty much mandatory). There's a good patient organization which might be helpful. Long survival with periodic relapses is a good pattern for supplying trial subjects, but not so good for generating dramatic results. Still, probably fairly fast to market.
But more than ever, I see a huge clinical trial program that will be difficult to support with the income I can see. Since the company is heading toward a cancer focus, maybe sell its piece of the Baricitinib business--in installments, to avoid having unusable amounts of cash on hand.
A short position in a non-dividend-paying stock is inexpensive to maintain in a cash flow sense (If you add a random-walk component to the cost, it looks a lot worse). The core short position has remained fairly constant for a while. It seems to have been established at around a $28 share price. In effect, the random walk part of the cost of holding the position has been realized.
It is much less risky and expensive to buy financial journalists than to stage bear operations.