Boris Peaker, Executive Director and Senior Analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Interviews with The Wall Street Transcript: Finding Innovation in Biotechnology for Cell Therapy, Oncology and Orphan Drugs

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - May 1, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Health Care - Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals - Executive Officer Interviews - Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Investing - Orphan Drug and Biologics Manufacturing - Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies Valuation

Companies include: Celgene Corporation (CELG), Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (CLDX), Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (ASTM), Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (PSTI), Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA), Immunogen Inc. (IMGN) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: What is the competitive environment like for the kinds of companies you cover? And what gives a company a competitive advantage in your mind, especially since a lot of them are development-stage and not yet profitable?

Mr. Peaker: There are certainly obviously a number of factors that give companies competitive advantages. But I think as you've outlined, in a development-stage biotech where basically most of these companies are driven by a single drug, some of them maybe two drugs, but for the most part it comes down to just one asset. You can have the greatest management in the world, but the drug could fail; it just might not work. It could be basic science or for whatever reason, it could just be random as well; you just don't reach the statistical significance that you were looking for.

While management is certainly important, what really is more important in my view is an innovative drug that is really different from what's out there right now, because we think that looking 10 years, 15 years out, these drugs are going to have patent coverage over that time span.

Looking that far out, we don't know exactly what's going to happen with health care and drug reimbursement. It's reasonable to assume there's going to be cost-saving measures in the U.S. and other economies as we're seeing in Europe today. We don't know how that's going to play out politically, but we know that health care can't keep growing at the rate that it's growing right now.

So I think that if we try to extrapolate what's going to be commercially valuable versus what is likely to get cut first, we think that drugs that are really genuinely differentiated, and not an incremental improvement - the differentiated drugs are really going to drive value. If you have a twice-a-day drug and you develop a once-a-day drug, but they are equivalent in other ways...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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