Friday, July 8, 2016

ImmunoGen and Juno

I own some ImmunoGen (IMGN) and some Juno Therapeutics (JUNO), both of which are small (under 1%) parts of my portfolio, since they are development-stage companies.

Yesterday I had my article on ImmunoGen published at Seeking Alpha:

ImmunoGen Oversold Despite Strong Pipeline

Yesterday Juno announced it had a trial suspended due to the deaths of 2 cancer patients. I had talked about that risk in my earlier Seeking Alpha article:

Juno Therapeutics: Celgene Partnership and CAR-T Pipeline Value

In one sense the market is overreacting to the news, but then Juno has quite a high market capitalization for a company that does not have approvable Phase 3 results for a therapy yet ($3 billion today, $4 billion yesterday).

ImmunoGen has a very small market cap, just above its cash balances, as I explained in my article. While considerable risk is certainly involved, the bounce to the small cap should be much bigger, if a therapy is approved, than the bounce to a company that already has success figured into its larger cap.

Most of my portfolio is in large cap biotechs that have large cash flows and extensive pipelines, like Gilead (GILD), Amgen (AMGN), Biogen (BIIB) and Celgene (CELG).

I own quite a few small cap and even nano-cap stocks, but only one makes up a substantial part of my portfolio at present, Inovio (INO). That is because I bought a lot of INO cheap before other investors discovered it. I am of course hoping ImmunoGen will give my portfolio a similar boost. But keep in mind it took years for INO to get to where it is today.

My typical investment horizon is 3 to 5 years. Most investors, whether individuals or institutions, don't seem to be able to think that far ahead. It works for me.

Keep Diversified!

You can see all my business writing at

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sold my Bind Therapeutics.

I sold my Bind Therapeutics (BIND) stock today after it went up on the news that Pfizer will make an offer to buy its assets. The problem is that, as I read it, Pfizer won't buy the debts, and there will not be money for continuing operations once the debt is paid. The potential upside is that some other company will outbid Pfizer. This is within the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. I think its technology should be worth more, especially given that it has several drugs using it that are being developed by large pharma companies that will owe substantial milestones and royalties if successful.

I lost money on Bind, so I am glad it only made up a small portion of my portfolio. I continue to own a number of small, risky biotechnology stocks. On the whole I have done well with this type of pick, but BIND now joins a small group of picks I took large % losses on, including DVIN and ANSV. And although I made money on DNDN by getting in early and then getting mostly out when it went high, in the end stockholders lost everything.

Reminder to myself and all:

Keep Diversified

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Initiation of Coverage of ImmunoGen

I previously owned biotechnology pharmaceutical companies working with ADC (antibody drug conjugate) technologies, notably Celldex (CLDX). On April 29, 2016 I bought an initial small amount of ImmunoGen (IMGN), which has an extensive pipeline of potential ADC therapies, several major partners. One of its technologies is part of an ADC that received FDA approval to be marketed by Roche.

ImmunoGen has run into some problems, resulting in a continuing decline of the stock price. I am accumulating it.

I also initiated taking notes on the quarterly analyst conferences. You can see my notes, a list of other stocks I take notes on, and a list of stocks I am currently invested in at the following links:

ImmunoGen Analyst Conference Notes

Companies Covered by William Meyers

Positions of William Meyers

Since I am a journalist, not a financial advisor, I aim for full disclosure. I try to be objective, but there is a human tendency to be biased in favor of one's investments.

Keep diversified!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Alnylam, Microchip, Brexit

It is a bloody day on Wall Street and across the world's markets, but I am not worried, yet. Since I am mainly in biotechnology stocks I will be interested to see if England eventually stops using the EMA (European Medical Authority) to decide what new drugs to allow to be sold in the country. And of course if the dollar weakens that tends to hurt American pharmaceutical companies, as sales in Europe look worse once they are converted to dollars.

Meanwhile I see much of the value in my particular portfolio in the development pipelines of the companies I own. Successes and failures will have more of an impact than Brexit.

I had two articles published at Seeking Alpha this week:

Alnylam Readouts Offer 2017-2018 Catalysts

Microchip is a Buy on Atmel Transformation

I own a small amount of Alnylam, while Microchip Technology is one of my largest positions, representing almost 10% of my portfolio.

To see the other stocks I own or follow, with links to my notes on the companies, see:

William Meyers Stocks

Thursday, June 9, 2016

GlycoMimetics: if you can stand the risk, buy it

My latest Seeking Alpha article:

GlycoMimetics: Undercovered with Catalysts Coming

I originally bought GLYC on March 31, 2015, then on April 17. Then more on August 24, 2015. Mostly lately bought on January 13, 2016.

I want more, but I'd have to sell something first, and that would mean (most likely) selling one of my winners with solid profits. And as much as I like GlycoMimetics, it is a development stage company. If its VOC trial fails, that would mean a price plunge. So for now I'll just be patient.

Waiting for biotechnology drug pipelines to mature is a major test of patience.

Keep diversified.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Biogen updated analysis

I set out to write a quick article on Biogen, but one thing led to another, and it expanded into a relatively detailed analysis. I own Biogen, and while there are some negatives in the picture like declining interferon sales, on the whole it looks very positive for the next few years.

The full article:

Biogen (BIIB) Keys to Value in 2017 and Beyond

Keep diversified!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gilead, Hansen Medical, Mylan, Immunogen buys and sells

This is my first post since April 17. I simply have been busy. I have covered and taken notes on over 40 analyst conferences. To see what I share go to:

Analyst Conference Notes by William Meyers

My only sale during this period was my Hansen Medical stock, and that was only because it was acquired for $3.99 per share. Not one of my best investments. Hansen never was able to sell as many of its surgical robots as the technology promised.

I bought more Mylan, which I think is vastly underpriced for long term investors. I bought my first Immunogen. I bought Seagate (STX) because it is so bloody low that any good news should send it up, and it recently introduced new drives that should reinforce its datacenter/cloud business. Plus its dividend is now phenomenal.

And today I considerably enlarged me Celsion (CLSN) position. But I warn you: it is not for the feint of heart. It has a very small market capitalization and needs to get some more good data just to raise more cash and keep going. Which means dilution. And of course, in addition, the future data could be bad. If the data is good and the cash can be raised to get it to an FDA approval, however, it could be a great stock.

I had a couple of articles at Seeking Alpha, the latest being:

Gilead Sciences Q1 Key Insights

Most of my portfolio is in larger cap stocks like Gilead. I buy only tiny amounts of stocks like Celsion. On the other hand sometimes those grow to large amounts, as for example with Inovio (INO), which has grown to be near 10% of my portfolio.

Keep Diversified!

And may Fortuna be with you

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Celldex et al

I've been busy, even as earnings reports start heating up this week from Intuitive Surgical, Intel, Biogen, and AMD. So all I'll do here is provide links to my latest Seeking Alpha Articles:

Celldex Set to Bounce Back

I'm Accumulating Bind Therapeutics

To get to my coverage of analyst conferences for the stocks I cover, go to:

Openicon Calendar

Monday, March 7, 2016

Woke Up with the Celldex Blues this Morning

Sometimes procrastination saves face.

This morning I could have had an article published at Seeking Alpha titled "Celldex Could Pop Up Sooner Than Expected." Pop as in pop up, due to their preliminary brain cancer results being so good that they would qualify for FDA approval without needing to complete the Phase 3 trial.

I had listened to the Celldex (CLDX) analyst call on February 25 and noted this possibility. Management was extremely confident about the outcome because the earlier Phase 2 trial had gone so well. They were not confident the trial would be discontinued because of success, but they said the chances of that were "reasonable." More likely, the full Phase 3 trial would have to be completed to see if the statistics were strong enough to get FDA approval.

Boom. Woke up this morning with the Celldex Blues. It jumped out when I looked at my portfolio: Celldex down by about half. Had to be bad news, and it was: preliminary data said Rintega was not worth pursuing even to the normal end of the trial. Too bad for glioblastoma patients, and too bad for stockholders.

I am a stockholder. But fortunately my investments are spread out over about 30 companies, the usual big ones like Gilead and Amgen, plus a large number of development-stage companies. There was good news elsewhere in my portfolio. No point to my selling Celldex either. They have a more extensive pipeline.

But I am not about saving face. I am about investors understanding potential risks and rewards. I understood the risk. Celldex was a recent acquisition for me. I was tempted to buy more, and of course if the trial had been stopped for efficacy, I would have regretted not buying more. So it goes. I wish I had bought more biotech stocks in 2008, but I did well with what I bought in that year and in 2009.

So keep in mind, no matter how promising earlier statistics are, a later trial can fail. Even a therapy with good statistics in Phase 2 can fail in Phase 3. That is one reason a company with a broad pipeline is safer than a company with a single therapy candidate. I would have mentioned the possibility of failure, but the overall tone of the article would have understated it.

Keep in mind that in most important trials, the studies are really double blind in that data is monitored by a separate organization, so management does not see the results except at intervals.

I used to always end this column with a reminder, to myself as much as my readers, and I will do it again in at least this one column:

Keep Diversified!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Amgen and possible biotech bottom

So far 2016 has been very tough on biotechnology and healthcare investors, including me. I continue to think that many if not most pharmaceutical company stocks are now undervalued. This is especially true of clinical stage companies if you have an investment horizon that allows their pipelines to mature.

I wrote an article about Amgen that was published at Seeking Alpha:

Amgen Valuation Now Excludes Potential Repatha Revenues

Amgen is one of the few biotech companies that pays a dividend. Gilead does too. In times like this when the market underappreciates pharma companies, the dividend reminds us that these companies are plenty profitable and are highly likely to become considerably more valuable for those who are patient.

Since I think we could be at a bottom I am going to be buying some more biotech stocks this week.

If it is not a bottom, it is because of panicky investors thinking wrongly. The more the market goes down, the more stock I will buy. This is a much better strategy than buying more because you are excited that the market (or a sector, or a particular stock) is going up. Provided you buy companies that have greater long term than present value. That means companies that look likely to get FDA and EU approvals for drugs that are in clinical trials now.

I have seen the market overvalue drugs in pipelines. Usually that is a result of assuming a drug will get FDA approval, and instead it being a dud. Sometimes investors, often pushed by brokers, get overexcited, so that following an FDA approval the drug cannot possibly generate enough revenue to justify the price prior to approval.

Watch out for that type of thing. But don't miss out on real opportunities when they present themselves. Look at each stock carefully before buying.

Remember, my writing is journalism, not investment advice.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

GlycoMimetics and other conferences this week

A lot of biotechnology companies are reporting fourth quarter 2015 results this week. A round of investor conferences kick off too.

None of that is likely to turn around the current slump in biotechnology stocks. That is going to require a change in sentiment. That will require continued revenue ramps from the commercial stage companies plus quite a number of new drug approvals from the FDA. When enough investors regain confidence we will see P/E ratios that are rational and pipelines that are also rationally valued. When that will happen is anyone's guess. I continue to accumulate biotechnology shares as I am able. Many are dirt cheap right now, but it still pays to be selective.

GlycoMimetics will make a presentation at 12:30 Pacific Time on Monday the 8th. If you want to prep for it you can read my article published at Seeking Alpha on Saturday:

GlycoMimetics: A Novel Therapeutic Approach With Possible High Returns

other stocks I own or cover that are reporting this week:

Tuesday: Regeneron, Seattle Genetics

Wednesday: Mylan

Thursday: Incyte, Alnylam

I post my notes on quarter results conferences. You can see my list with links to the notes here: OpenIcon Analyst Conference Notes

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, could buy more

New article at Seeking Alpha

Alexion has Long-term Upside, But the Ride will be Bumpy

I would note that the title I submitted to Seeking Alpha editors was
"Alexion Pharmaceuticals: What to look for in 2016 and Beyond"
I don't have much ALXN in my portfolio, I bought a minimal amount in February 2015 at $175.12 per share. It went well up for a while, now I am down. So I am seriously thinking of buying more Alexion at bargain prices. On the other hand, my cash is limited, and there are other companies that are competing for that cash use. I may even just hold onto the cash for a clearer short-term opportunity.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Agenus upgrade

I own Agenus stock. On January 21, 2016, Agenus had some good news, so I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha:

Agenus Gets 2 INDs: Time to Revalue Upward

I felt particularly good about the news since I increased my AGEN holdings slightly on January 20, based solely on seeing that it was at a 52-week low, and feeling it will be worth a lot, lot more in the long run.

In other recent trades I bought more Star Bulk (SBLK), which is a very risky company, which I don't recommend to anyone, and hope if you do consider it you research it thoroughly and accept the risk involved.

I also bought more GlycoMimetics (GLYC), which is a small biotech company with a novel therapy in clinical trials. Again, because it only has one therapy in trials at this point, if that therapy fails it could mean the failure of the entire company. Buy at your own risk.

It looks like the markets are calming down. I believe most (but not all) biotechnology stocks are undervalued for long-term investors. But what you can buy or sell a stock for on a given day is subject to an auction. Buy low and sell high, which is the opposite of what most investors and traders do, which is why it works. Second option: buy good companies and hold them, and don't worry so much.

I am a journalist and investor, not a financial advisor.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Onivyde

Beginning the week with a new article at Seeking Alpha:

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Should Drive Higher In 2016 On Onivyde And Pipeline

I must admit I was a bit dubious about Merrimack when I first came across it in the distant past. I took a long time and did quite a bit of research before initially investing in September of 2014. The stock is down, since then (I bought at $7.97), but the progress has been great. I think MACK is a huge bargain at this point, though not without it risks.

This afternoon AMD reports Q4 earnings. I don't expect anything spectacular, but I do hope for some optimism about 2016. AMD is one of my few remaining semiconductor stocks. Almost my entire portfolio is in biotechnology now.

I am a journalist & investor. I try to be honest and pick good stocks for my own portfolio, but that does not mean my portfolio is right for you, nor is any individual stock.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Celgene and Biogen Peek at 2016

It's a busy day. I just listened to Inovio give a presentation, and in less than 30 minutes the one by Alexion starts.

Mainly, I have two new articles at Seeking Alpha:

A look at Biogen's 2016 catalysts

Celgene 2015 Results, 2016 Guidance, and Today's Price drop

Which should you buy? Celgene is as close to a long-term sure thing as you can find in the biotech world. Biogen is much thinner in its future drug pipeline, but if its Phase 3 Alheimer's trials are a success, it could double of triple in value overnight (that would be a night late in 2016 or even well into 2017). Both are great companies.

Oh, and I'll listen to the Merrimack presentation this afternoon (2:30 PM Pacific Time), while in the next few minutes I'll try to read the comments on my new articles and reply if it seems helpful.

Have I lost big time in the opening days of 2016! You betcha! But the companies are all the same and are going to be worth a lot more in a few years.

Keep diversified!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Playing the Market vs. Owning Companies

Like most investors, my stock portfolio has taken a serious hit since the year 2016 began. Hence I need to remind myself of a few basic facts.

The stock market is an auction market. It is a convenience to be able to trade your stocks for cash, or vice versa, any given moment of most weekdays. But whether you get a fair price depends on the collective bidding of millions of other people and institutions.

As a long term investor, I need to think of myself as a business owner. A stockholder of a number of important companies. In my case, companies that invent, develop, and provide medicines to people.

A slow down in industrial development in China should not affect the long-term earnings of the biotechnology companies I own.

Things can go wrong, like a promising drug candidate failing to pass a clinical trial. Or an older drug that is making money being replaced by a better drug made by a rival, or eventually going generic.

I am willing to sell some of my stocks to fools if I think the auction price of the stock has gotten well beyond its real long-term value.

And I am willing to buy from fools when stocks I want have fallen below a price that is attractive to me.

But what I think has been going on this week is algorithms chasing algorithms. More than half of trading is typically done by computers, on behalf of real people. Algorithms panic easily.

I am not buying right now because I don't have that much cash in my portfolio. Prices have not reached truly bargain-basement levels. It they do, I will likely transfer some funds into my account in order to do some buying.

I like my Biotech portfolio. I believe that certain stocks, notably Gilead, were already undervalued before the sell off began.

As a stockholder in companies with growing drug portfolios, revenues, and profits, I can wait. If the stock price does not reflect the true value of the company, then the company will return some of the profits to stockholders, by reinvesting, stock-buy backs, or my favorite, increasing the dividend.

But there are many styles of trading stocks and investing in companies. Including those computer algorithms.

The American economy seems to be strong despite weakness in the oil and gas sector. That should ultimately allow better healthcare for Americans, and allow people (and the government and insurers) to afford the new miracle drugs my companies have developed and continue to develop.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How I got a 15.7% return in 2015

Per my agreement with Seeking Alpha, I have to send you there to read it:

How I got a 15.7% return in 2015

But in a word: carefully selecting biotechnology stocks.