Watchlist these biotechs early in the week Print E-mail
By M.E.Garza   
Saturday, 05 March 2011 18:31
best penny stock picksHere are some biotech/healthcare stocks to keep an eye on early this week. There is some interesting price action occuring at Inhibitex (Nasdaq: INHX). During the last two sessions, INHX prices have jumped over both the 200-day and 20-day moving averages. Note the other positive looking technical indicators on the chart-- in particular the MACD cross-over into positive territory, the rising Relative Strength Index, as well as the +DI on the ADX 14 indicator.

Inhibitex received Fast Track Designation for INX-189 in early February.

Late last month, Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on the stock with a BUY rating and during the last two days, the stock has been seeing some interesting price action in anticipation of a presentation on Monday afternoon.

Russell Plumb, president and chief executive officer, is scheduled to present an overview and an update of its pipeline of differentiated anti-infective compounds
at the Cowen and Company 31st Annual Health Care Conference on March 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM (EST). The presentation will be simultaneously webcast and can be accessed by visiting the Investors section of the Inhibitex website at

In early January, Inhibitex, Inc. reported positive preliminary interim safety and antiviral data from the first two monotherapy cohorts of its ongoing Phase Ib clinical trial of INX-189, an oral NS5b nucleotide inhibitor being developed to treat chronic infections caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). The company said they were looking forward to completing the remaining monotherapy cohorts and evaluating the potential antiviral synergies of INX-189 in combination with ribavirin in a Phase Ib ongoing study, and anticipated reporting additional safety, antiviral and pharmacokinetic data from the Phase Ib study upon its completion later in first quarter of 2011.  If INX-189 shows competitive potency, biotech analysts think the stock could appreciate significantly.

Inhibitex Inc is focused on developing products to treat and prevent serious infectious diseases. They have licensed certain of its proprietary MSCRAMM® protein technology to Wyeth for the development of staphylococcal vaccines.

Inhibitex's pipeline addresses significant viral and bacterial infections, including herpes zoster (shingles), chronic hepatitis C, and S. aureus infections. Inhibitex' partners include: 3M Co, Avid Bioservices, Inc, Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Cardiff University, Dyax Corp, Genentech, Inc, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Lonza Biologics Inc, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc, Roche Holding, Ltd, Texas A&M University, University of Georgia, Washington University in St. Louis and others.

Shares of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. (OTCBB:IMUC) have pulled back during the last two sessions, thereby testing some newly formed support at the $2.22 level. As we told out premium subscribers last week, we look for shares of the company to continue rising in anticipation of an uplisting to the AMEX. Sources close to the NYSE Amex told us that the company has been looking into uplisting ansd that an official announcement should follow soon.

Last week, ImmunoCellular raised approximately $8.1 million primarily from U.S. based institutional investors and the stock reacted very bullishly to the news; dipping only slightly before resuming their climb.

A move to the Amex, by ImmunoCellular would undoubtedly let institutions and other funds who can't otherwise buy the stock to begin accumulating it- therefore causing prices to rise, just as they did for Neoprobe Corporation (AMEX: NEOP).  ImmunoCellular has ICT107- a new generation dendritic cell-based therapeutic vaccine in human trials. Early last month, IMUC announced that the first patient had been enrolled in its Phase II trial of ICT-107 at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center. As our readers know, ICT107 is being developed in the form of intradermal injection as a therapeutic vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme.

We are told that management teams from at least two other immunotherapy focused small-cap firms are watching this move by IMUC with a close eye. Should ImmunoCellular prove to be successful in raising their market valuation, those companies will look to make uplisting moves of their own-  especially since a couple of them have pending good news developments that we keep hearing about and may validate their technologies. Our readers can stay tuned for more news on that in the days ahead.

Shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAZZ) have jumped the last two sessions. The company has scheduled an Earning Conference Call (Q4-2010) for Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm Eastern.

Speaking of jumping. I've been sitting here watching shares of Repros Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RPRX) jump during the last few sessions. The company recently announced that the pending class action securities lawsuits that were filed against it during 2009 have been dismissed. Every time I think they're going to pull back they keep running.  The RPRX chart has finally developed a "Long Legged Doji" candle pattern which strongly hints that pull-back may finally occur. If you didn't catch the pop on the way up, you may want to consider taking a short position on the way down. Either way, keep an eye on it.

Disclosure: No Positions

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