Sunday, March 15, 2015

Biotech Investing: Upcoming trade catalyst Immunomedics (IMMU)

Immunomedics (IMMU) is a good stock to consider going into the 2nd quarter.  Results from a Phase 3 trial of Epratuzumab in Lupus with partner UCB is expected during the quarter.  Lupus is a very hard condition to treat highlighted by only one recently approved drug in that last 58 years, Benlysta. Benlysta is marketed by Glaxo and is considered only marginal in the treatment of lupus which opens the door for another new, effective treatment.

Terms of the agreement with UCB provide over $400 million in regulatory and specified product sales milestones as well as product royalties ranging from mid-teen to mid-twenty percentage of aggregate annual net sales during the product royalty term.  If the trial results are positive, it's going to be very lucrative for Immunomedics.

The company also has a product in phase 3 trials for pancreatic cancer which is another difficult to treat condition.  They expect the trial to fully enroll in this year with results in 2016.

I'm going to hold Immunomedics through the lupus results and continue to hold if the results are positive with the additional pancreatic readout in 2016.

Hope everyone has a great trading week and best of luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Biotech Investing: Targacept (TRGT) Announces Merger

I just wrote last month about my position in Targacept and the possibility of a merger.  It was just announced 15 minutes ago that they will merge with privately held Catalyst Biosciences.  Catalyst currently has a partnership with Pfizer for its lead compound, PF-05280602.  Targacept will own 35% of the newly formed company and received a cash distribution.

Targacept and Catalyst Biosciences Enter Definitive Merger Agreement Creating a Protease-Based Hemostasis and Anti-Complement Company

Merger combines Catalyst’s protease therapeutics pipeline and the financial resources of both companies
Creates a well-funded company to develop important new treatment options for patients with bleeding disorders and complement-mediated diseases

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Biotech Investing: Clinical Updates from Threshold (THLD) and Arqule (ARQL)

Both Threshold (THLD) and Arqule (ARQL) reported earnings in the last day and both provided updated guidance on the time of top line pivotal trial results of their pancreatic and liver cancer, respectively.

Threshold now expects results from its phase 3 pancreatic cancer trial in the first quarter of 2016.  Prior guidance was "sometime" in 2016 so now we are look at the front end of the year providing a closer trading catalyst.  The trial is being conducted by its partner Merck.

Arqule now expects results from its phase 3 liver cancer trail in the fourth quarter of 2015.  Previous guidance was the first quarter of 2016 but recruitment has been better than expected.

I have 6,000 shares of Threshold and don't plan to sell until we get closer to the pancreatic readout.  I may actually add to my position via selling naked puts.

I just sold my shares in Arqule earlier this week after it made a strong run these past few weeks after presentations at investor conferences.  I plan to get back in when/if it goes back below $1.70 per share.

Do your own research and good luck!