|Falling Biotechs To Keep On Watch|
|By Vinny Cassano|
|Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:31|
Oncothyreon Inc. (Nasdaq:ONTY): Can we really call Oncothyreon a "falling stock" while it's still trading as just about a double this year?
This Year's ONTY run had the stock flying straight to the ten dollar mark as the Stimuvax trials started winding down and Jim Cramer gave the company a complimentary 'shout out' on his program last month.
Since those aforementioned peaks, however, the stock has retreated back down to under the eight dollar mark, and there may be more to come as the excitement is over and the momentum, swing and day traders go looking for the next big thing.
While there may be some more downside to this slide, an investor cannot ignore the prospects of successful Stimuvax results. There has not been so much as a glitch in the progress of the ongoing trials since being re-started after a brief halt due to unfounded safety concerns, and public sentiment is trending towards positive results, if recent headlines are to be an indication.
The success of Dendreon (Nasdaq:DNDN) after positive Provenge results is the holy grail of all cancer immunotherapy runs and the prospects of a similar one occurring with ONTY is going to be enough to keep people interested.
That said, you also can't ignore the volatility.
Keep an eye on this one, as there will likely be ample time to get back in for those that took some profits from the table on the last run. If Stimuvax turns out to be a success, then there's little doubt that the current prices are going to become swift history.
Amarin Corporation plc (Nasdaq:AMRN): Amarin's share price has been filled with peaks and valleys since announcing the first in a string of positive events late last year, but with AMRN trading for thirteen dollars again with potential catalysts looming, it might be worth taking a look again.
Aside from the prospects that Amarin is going to be bought out or partnered - one of those two scenarios is considered a near-certainty by many - the company also just announced that all the remaining clinical trials necessary for the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) with the FDA for AMR-101 had been completed.
According to a press release issued to open August, investors should see the FDA filed within the current quarter. For those keeping score at home, that means either this month or next.
Given the positive results achieved in the MARINE and ANCHOR trials, an eventual FDA approval is expected, although that organization has a reputation of being highly unpredictable.
There's not 'sure things' in this sector.
Much of the speculative reasoning behind the recent price decline revolves around comments made by the company CEO insinuating that Amarin may 'go it alone' with AMR-101 rather than look to be partnered or purchased.
Was that posturing or was that a ring of true intentions?
While the partnering or purchase of Amarin would lead to the quickest gains, there still exists the potential for the company to reap its own gains if it does go it alone.
Keep an eye on this story, which is still developing.
Dendreon Corporation (Nasdaq:DNDN): Even as everything looks to be going right for Dendreon (DNDN) this year, the stock has slipped into the mid-thirty dollar range.
Earnings around the corner, and although the bulk of expected Provenge sales are not expected to come until the last fourth months of the year, investors will be looking to see that supply is tracking higher and that demand remains the same.
This month also brings another potential milestone for the company, that being the approval of its Atlanta facility that the FDA should rule on by August 28th.
Already this year Dendreon has received approval for maximum capacity at its New Jersey and Los Angeles facilities, so the approval in Atlanta essentially means "Game On" for Dendreon to reach its lofty $350-$400 million goals for this year and potentially hit a billion or more in sales for 2012.
Although still trading for exponentially higher than it was pre-approval, any slip in the DNDN share price is worth noticing.
With Provenge primed for full capacity in the market, and with Dendreon's remaining pipeline still in tact and developing, this should be the beginning of a long-standing golden age for this company.
MannKind Corporation (Nasdaq:MNKD): After slipping from its highs following another FDA denial for Afrezza, Mannkind hasn't made any additional noise since and has approached the three dollar mark on heavy short interest over the past weeks.
Talk of a partnership or buyout to save the falling share price have not materialized, and its questionable if they ever will over the short term. Those looking for a short squeeze may, in my opinion, be waiting a while with this one since there's nothing on the immediate horizon to trigger such an event, barring a surprise buyout.
That said, once Mannkind gets closer to completing the necessary trials with its next-generation inhaler, interest may again get piqued by both investors and potential partners. In that scenario, I like the longer-termed call options or a simple 'buy the dips' strategy for this one.
It could be a waiting game for Mannkind, but it's times like these where you don't want to forget about a one-time frontrunner.
A rebound could materialize, especially as time draws nearer to another D-day with the FDA.
Disclosure: Long MNKD
Vinny Cassano also authors the popular stock investing blog, VFC's Stock House.