Interesting...analyzing the chart, I realize that there's BARELY any gap at the .125ish level...it looks to be .003 of a gap....maybe less...
The chart looks good to me...seems we're moving right along...I thought ADVR held up well considering market conditions...
On to ASCO.......
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long)
Elma doesn't have much choice. With only two or three technical people
left in the company who know how to make and test the drug, she can't
really fire anyone else whose left, if she realistically hopes to push
through FDA filings and advance the drug towards the marketplace. She
should hope and pray that these remnant few will decide stay on under
her command, and not seek other jobs, so that the drug and the company
can be kept alive. Otherwise she'll be sitting at her desk putting in
her self-professed 22-hour workdays staring at the walls- with no drug,
no company, no nothing.
booms can be tempting
If the fields of grain near your house are not only waving, but clapping and singing, too, then you've experienced some of the wonders of biotechnology. But it's more likely that you'll experience biotechnology in new medical treatments. And that's what has made biotech stocks grow so rapidly the past 12 months.
The sector's big gains, though, should start warning bells ringing for anyone who has ever watched biotech wilt before. If you want to invest in biotech now, you're probably better off investing in a health care fund, which can maneuver into slightly less risky medical fields.
The biotech industry has had remarkable achievements the past decade, ranging from human growth hormone, which treats growth hormone deficiency in children, to Botox, which helps erase those nasty frown lines. The industry also has figured out how to make insulin, used to treat diabetes.
The Martha Stewart trial also boosted public awareness of biotech. She was accused of selling her shares of ImClone in 2001 based on illegal inside information that its cancer drug Erbitux would not be approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Ironically, the FDA approved the drug for treatment of advanced colorectal cancer in February.
The past 12 months, the Nasdaq Biotech index has gained 35%, vs. 19% for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. Some of the biotech gains have been truly startling:
Northfield Laboratories, which is working on an alternative to blood for transfusions called PolyHeme, has jumped 131% the past 12 months.
Sepracor, which makes an asthma treatment called Xopenex, has leaped 155%.
Genentech, a pioneer biotech company, makes Raptiva, a psoriasis treatment. It's up 238%.
Gains like that, particularly in today's snake-bitten market, tend to attract investors' attention quickly. Another reason to like biotech: Major drug companies don't have many new blockbuster drugs in the development pipeline. So they're buying new drugs from biotech firms — and, in some cases, buying the biotech firms outright.
Furthermore, biotech, like technology in general, has a certain cachet. It conjures up images of lone geniuses discovering cures for mad cow disease, and of stocks that soar from 20 cents to $20 in a day. There's an element of truth to this.
Unfortunately, biotech also has another, well-deserved reputation for periodic meltdowns. Genentech, for example, plunged 66% from February 2000 through September 2002. And buying the entire industry didn't provide much diversification: Fidelity Select Biotechnology fell 66% the same period.
For potential investors, then, the question is whether biotech is close to bubbling over. One indication is the type of biotech companies that are doing well. In fairly rational times, companies with real earnings and FDA-approved products tend to lead the pack. As the biotech frenzy starts to heat up, investors start bidding up the prices of companies with no earnings, but decent prospects of FDA approval of a new product. Eventually, you'll see many initial public stock offerings in the field, some of which have little more going for them than a few guys with a microscope and a petri dish.
We're not there yet. But Erin Xie, manager of State Street Research Health Sciences, thinks the biotech sector is starting to mutate into a speculative phase. "We see people's interests move from late-stage projects to earlier and earlier-stage companies," she says.
You can make money in those kinds of companies, but you can also lose everything you invest — something biotech investors seem to forget every five years or so. "It's intrinsically chancy," Xie says.
She thinks the biotech market is fairly valued now, which means any big move to the upside would come with increasing risk. And bear in mind that "fairly valued," in the biotech world, means valuations that would make your blood pressure soar in almost any other industry. Genentech, for instance, sells for 78 times its estimated earnings for the next 12 months. Drug giant Merck sells for about 15 times earnings.
J.C. Waller, manager of ICON Healthcare, agrees with Xie's assessment and says the biggest biotechs are the most overvalued of all. Interestingly, smaller biotech companies with real earnings are somewhat overvalued, he says. Biotech is just 6.5% of Waller's portfolio.
Just because biotechnology may be headed for the intensive care ward is no reason to overlook the entire health care industry. After all, the nation's 77 million baby boomers — those born from 1946 to 1964 — are lurching from middle to old age. As they get older, they will need more health care. That's a long-term trend that won't go away soon.
Waller thinks that stocks of managed health care companies, such as Anthem, are the best in the sector. The company has gained 37% the past six months and sells for 7.6 times estimated earnings.
Some day, scientists will find cures for cancer, the common cold or other diseases — and, one hopes, without any major mishaps. Life is peculiar enough without fields of whistling beets. But if you want to make a slightly less risky bet, try a health care fund instead.
Find this article at:
should have reported SOMETHING re: CEO meeting ;(
- - - - -
Finds HIV Protein Can Drive Immune Cells Away
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers may have provided another clue to the mystery of how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, evades the defenses of the immune system. In the May issue of the Journal of Virology, a team from the Partners AIDS Research Center at MGH describes finding how a key protein that helps the virus enter its target T helper cells may also keep away the T killer cells that should destroy HIV-infected cells.
“One of the big questions in understanding HIV is why we can see immune responses that are effective in the test tube but do not eradicate the virus in the infected patient,” says Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD, of the Partners AIDS Research Center (PARC) and the MGH Infectious Disease Unit, the paper’s senior author. “We have identified a potential new mechanism by which pathogens can repel immune cells and thereby evade the immune system.”
In 2000, Poznansky and colleagues published a report that found how a protein called SDF-1, known to attract immune cells, can actually repel T cells when present in elevated quantities. SDF-1 is a chemokine, a protein normally produced to summon immune cells to the site of an injury or infection. The molecule is known to interact with a T cell receptor called CXCR4 which also is used by HIV when it binds to and enters T helper cells. Investigating whether HIV infection involves the same kind of cellular repulsion observed in the earlier study – a process the researchers dubbed “fugetaxis” – seemed a logical next step.
In a series of experiments led by Diana Brainard, MD, a research fellow in Poznansky’s lab, the team first found that while low concentration of gp120, the HIV protein that interacts with CXCR4, attracted T killer cells, higher concentrations induced the immune cells to move away. They then showed that it was the specific interaction of gp120 with CXCR4 that controlled T cell movement, and that the same repulsion could be produced specifically with T killer cells programmed to attack HIV.
The researchers then used immunized mice to look at the effects of the viral protein in vivo. One day after the mice were injected with an antigen to which they had been previously immunized, they received an additional injection of either low- or high-dose recombinant gp120 protein or saline as a control. For up to 24 hours afterwards, mice receiving the high-dose gp120 were found to have a significantly lower immune response to the antigen injection than either control mice or those that had received the low-dose gp120.
“This is the first report of fugetaxis caused by a viral gene product and could be an important way that HIV keeps the immune system at bay,” Poznansky says. “We don’t know yet if this process occurs in patients infected with HIV, but if it does, it provides a new therapeutic approach that could block this viral protein activity and allow immune cells to do their job.”
Brainard and Poznansky add that this mechanism could also be used by other viruses – including the pox viruses, papilloma viruses and herpes viruses – that remain in the body after initial infection and have proteins known to influence cellular movement. Poznansky is an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Additional co-authors are William Tharp, Elva Granado, Nicholas Miller, Alicja Trocha and Bruce Walker, MD, of MGH/PARC; Xiang-Hui Ren, MD, and Ernest Terwilliger, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Brian Conrad, University of Michigan; and Richard Wyatt, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The work was supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
agree, 4titude. And, anything reported ON THIS MESSAGE BOARD concerning
what was discussed at that meeting is TOTALLY HEARSAY.....IMO. If it
isn't in writing from the company, then it's just second-handed
information; but, then again, how many times has "pertinent
information" been placed in a company PR (website, SEC documents)
-- and, then later on down the road, us lowly shareholders find out IT
JUST AIN'T HAPPENING!! So, I guess either way, we have nothing but our
gut instincts to guide us through.