Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rough Days and Inovio

I continue to think that Inovio (INO) is one of the great biotechnology stories of our era. I have a new article out at Seeking Alpha on it:

Why Inovio Surged 26% on August 9

I just looked at my calendar and realize that should be August 10! Pretty funny!

Let me quote Dr. Kim: "We already have, and expect to soon show, many further accomplishments and advancements." When I interviewed him in July he made similar statements. The rules of biotech are that you have to announce that the data will be presented in a journal or at a medical conference. But the data is accumulating.

Like most of the stock market, Inovio sold off on August 11 and so far today. It's August, many of the big players are on vacation, and the Chinese have created uncertainty. Since most of the biotech companies sell most of their therapies in the U.S. and Europe, I am not worried. If the yuan were allowed to float, it would have floated down.

Of more concern is insurance companies, instead of doctors, deciding what drugs patients will be treated with. I know some doctors are greedy to the point of being con artists, but most try hard to get the specific drug to a specific patient with specific circumstances. It makes no long term sense to deny patients Hepatitis C therapies until they suffer detectable liver damage. It makes no sense for insurance clerks to decide what MS treatment is best for patients. Insurance companies have a legitimate right to monitor doctors to make sure they are not running up fraudulent bills, but denying patients the meds they need is criminal and should result in punitive measures by the courts.

On the other hand, some of the biotechs that I thought were too pricy just back in July have snapped back towards reality. My latest buy was Epizyme (EPZM), and while almost all my cash is at work, I am thinking of picking up some more small cap and mid cap biotechs during this fire sale.

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