Taking a break…

Hi everybody,

My current day job is becoming more and more oriented towards the public markets, which has the potential to create conflicts and significantly limits my ability to discuss publicly traded companies. Given this situation I decided to take a break from publishing on this site. As you may guess, this wasn’t an easy decision… this blog and its readers have been a significant part of my life for over a decade but it is the inevitable one given the circumstances. I am very grateful and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with all of you. I am going to miss it.

Take care,

Ohad

115 thoughts on “Taking a break…

  1. My list would exclude cos. that will need to replenish their cash in the next year. So companies that are either cash flow positive or have 2 years worth of cash. I like ACAD and VKTX. ACAD has an approved drug that is generating significant sales and there are additional blockbuster indications teed up for FDA approval. VKTX has $270M in cash as of 12/19 and a market cap as of today of $300M. As for timing? I’m going to give it another week. GLTA

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  2. Too bad Ohad!
    Your valuable analysis of the biotech field is going to missed us.
    Hopefully we’ll continue to actively work with you and Pontifax.
    All the best

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  3. Hi Les,

    I like some with tiny EV (less than about $100m) but product near market, like e.g. FENC, ALBO, MIRM, ALBO

    I like as you mentioned VKTX at basically 0 EV. Also PIRS (more risky) at 0 EV. XENE also not much EV.

    I like companies with high cash and interesting programs like ZYME, MOR, ARNA (all ~ half cash)

    I also like e.g. AMRN, AUPH, AXSM, MDGL,..

    There are steals out there – but nobody knows when the panic of the mass raches its maximum. So I am selectively buying small portions to add to my quite big long-term investments, especially on days when everything goes down a lot (and not on a rebound-day like today)

    Wish you all good decisions

    Christian

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  4. Hey Everyone,

    I have bought some XAIR and added to my position in CAPR as they are expanding their exosome platform for use in vaccine – going after c-19 – and bought on an exsomome KOL from Johns Hopkins to the fold – in last Earning call CEO stated they are going to make announcements regarding exosomes as vaccine platform and they are seeking grant funding. Market cap is $4M!

    Dan

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  5. One way to avoid conflict is to talk about technologies you like in general. You’ve been incredible asset, I hope you come back. But you have a well-deserved break my friend 🙂

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  6. Hi everyone, I think someone asked the question for other interesting blogs. I joined Integrated BioSci Investing on Seeking Alpha already some time ago. Good content, great community, and very interactive. Give it a try if you are interested.

    Thanks Ohad for everything, I miss you and hope you will come back at one point! I will keep this page open on my computer just in case …

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  7. Ohad Readers,
    Can anyone, or collectively as a group, recommend a list of biotechs that meet the following criteria:
    • Good Cash position allowing operations through 2021
    • Phase 2 or 3 studies that are currently enrolled that are unlikely to be interrupted by the Covid-19 situation.
    • Current market value reduction improving future return potential.

    Frank

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  8. Frank

    That would be two of Ohads favorites XENE and ZYME. Take the time to read his previous posts.

    As for delays, neither company has made a public announcement as of yet re: trials, but you can expect most trials have hit some sort of delay

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  9. Hey all!
    I really appreciate the twitter handles-I have followed Dan I believe. It’s mostly my work account, so I don’t tweet stock picks, but appreciate everyone tweeting.

    Does anyone follow hedge funds? I had a pretty good run following Seth Klarman’s bio picks, but I’d say over the past year or so that’s been less of a focus for his fund. I am thinking of following Perceptive, though their portfolio is enormous. I’m a big fan of buying small caps institutional capital is acquiring, particularly if there is more than one fund on board.

    Anyway I sold about a third of my overall portfolio and am using this as an opportunity to go long on several biotech names. No high-conviction buys, but spreading bets around and will continue to do so.
    L

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  10. Alex, AKRO good data for p2a at week 12. Stat sig liver fat reductions across all doses. Absolute: 12-14%, relative 72%. By comparison MDGL had ~40% relative reductions at week 12

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  11. re: strong cash positions, I noticed this page-http://www.biotechduediligence.com/valuation.html

    The following trade close to EV, probably a good jumping off point for further study:
    ACHN, ALNY, AMRN, AVEO, CLVS, IONS, LGND, PTCT, SRPT

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  12. OH-Thanks for correcting/updating the back-end of the site. I enjoy being able to research names and this is such a great resource.

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  13. Ponitifax bought 2M GNCA shares at the resent offering plus an option to buy additional 2M shares at 2.25.
    GNCA was in the Ohad’s portfolio in the past, so there must be something there,
    009 data this Thu, Jul 30. Chance for good data 50-50. 011 is a better drug, but a year away from data.

    If someone follows my top pick BTAI, would be sitting on 1000% return in 9 mo.

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  14. Alex
    I can’t post the link but here is the list of Pontifax Closing Schedule:
    Pontifax (Cayman): 305,039 shares + 305,039 warrants
    Pontifax (Israel): 1,142,018 shares + 1,142,018 warrants
    Pontifax (China): 443,698 shares + 443,698 warrants
    Pontifax (LS Fund): 210,084 shares + 210,084 warrants

    Check also TORC. Reverse merger in Sep. with Adicet Bio- see Pontifax portfolio.
    Ohad was talking that the future is allogenic CAR-T but that the the most interesting technologies are still private. Well Adicet Bio is probably one of those innovative companies, still private, he was talking about. They have allogenic gamma-delta CAR-T platform. So if you buy TORC you get pre-IPO price for Adicet at about $10 /share (TORC is 25% of the total) plus CVR of the current TORC programs, which might be worth something.

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  15. Andre , Alex and of course, Ohad,
    Any update on the recent market reaction to ZYME, RGNX, XENE, GNCA?
    Re: VKTX, how much of it’s EV is tied up in NASH (as NASH Rx failures are becoming the norm).
    Any of the new IPOs that have great p.o.c Science that are worth a look?
    Frank

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  16. Alex
    Check KYMR S1A
    Ohad liked ARVN. He may like KYMR even more bc of the better targets and partners. Expensive for preclinical but the new technologies typically have a high price tag.

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  17. Alex,
    Thanks. I’d already put KYMR on my watch list but agree it’s expensive for a pre-clinical.
    KURA…..has broken out and up finally. Does anyone have a sense of the potential for their pipeline. I know Ohad liked it but felt it had a limited scope. I’m not sure if that opinion has changed.
    Looking for an exit range.
    Thanks All
    Frank

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  18. No, I haven’t found any other blog that covers biotech the same way. I am in GNCA, APTO, CAPR for their exosome vaccine, ENTB, MRSN, and started MREO which pontifex is invested in.
    What stocks is everybody else adding or following with interest? Not sure whether to add ESPR but Covid has impacted roll out and I worry they might but break even for a long while, which risks driving valuation lower and lower…

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    • Hi Dan,
      ADC was the favorite subject of Ohad. So I have a mini ADC basket – SGEN, MRSN, STRO, IMMU (already BO), MGNX (not actually ADC but bispecific).
      Buying recently ACET, ALNA GNCA – all in Pontifax portfolio.
      Plus some long term CNS favorites like XENE, BTAI, AXSM.
      And some long term cancer favorites ZYME, KURA, SWTX

      Will check your MREO – looks interesting. They started anti-TIGIT. RCUS is 200% in a year with good data, so MREO my eventially follow.

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      • thanks for the tips. Will look at STRO and ALNA (I am already in ACET). Not familiar with SWTX, will also have a look.
        CAPR just announced positive animal studies in exosome-based cover vaccine… next in line is their VLP exosome vaccine, could be a huge story in 2021. In collaboration with Stephen Gould out of JHU. Have a look at last week’s PR and EC for more info.

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  19. Dan
    Another bispecific company you may look into – FSTX. Just started trading after reverse merger. Immuno oncology bispecific is tricky to build, but if you can, could work well. Good example is ZYME 25 bispecific.

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  20. It’s almost year end and a spectacular year for biotech as well as high tech.
    The year has boosted gains after a brief drop last March.
    Many new phenomenal things happening with the covid crisis as the catalyst.
    Suddenly, biotech is front and center in containing this disease to get back to normal life.

    New high tech sectors like Cloud companies and SaaS or software as a service has been
    essential for remote working and paying off big.
    IPOs are hot and new instruments like SPAC has been bringing new companies faster to
    market before the IPOs.

    The past week, Gene Editing led by CRSP technology boosted all from the ASH conference
    and I’m so glad I covered them including SGMO.
    Even though Ohad didn’t cover it for good reasons, he commented that CRISPR is a disruptive
    process technology and that was enough for me.

    Good luck to all and best wishes for the holidays!

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  21. Have been following this blog for a long time when Ohad was leading it….posted only once in the past.

    Want to share info on an interesting opportunity with AKBA, with their post phase III drug for CKD both in patients not/and on dialysis .
    Got beaten badly recently due to possible safety issue in study with not on dialysis patients. Discrepancy was observed when analysis looked at patients in different geographical locations, although, with US patients part of study, study met specific relevant safety primary end point.

    Company intends to file early in coming year for approval in both populations. Market cap attractive
    Have EU partner Otsuka working on MAA submission.

    Worth looking at … will be happy to receive feedback/comments

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  22. Good week for Pontifax.
    PRVL is bought out
    MREO got a nice deal.
    ACET started finally moving up.
    2021 should be good for both – low valuation, enough cash and interesting programs in hot space like anti-TIGID and allogeneic TCR / NK.

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  23. Dan
    Sorry, don’t know these companies.
    In addition I have ALNA and GNCA. I think both will do well in 2021. Both w/ low valuation, not easy to find in the current market.

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    • agreed with Gnca – very low valuation and catalyst expected in 2021. Started position on PRQR and LOGC today – both have also reasonable valuations.

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      • Alex
        ACET was private investment, not disclosed.
        ALNA – see ALNA 25M convertible depth press release in Sept. Pontifax can convert the depth into shares at $4.10
        GNCA see SEC form S3 from July. Search for Pontifax in the document

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  24. I was a devoted Ohad follower. Anyone looking for a site covering biotechs should venture over to ROTY..there are select people with some great ideas. It’s a rather small yearly fee. It may not be Ohad but you will not be disappointed. Happy New Year to all.

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  25. Yeah, CHMA is my fourth largest position behind $CAPR, $XENE and $AXSM. I have been accumulating CHMA given the low market cap. Is anyone worrying about XBI and market correction? seems economy will take a while to recover? I have added ALNA (andre!) before the recent run, also seems that PRQR which Pontifax is invested in has gone up, I bough small started position a month ago…

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  26. About ZYME – ZW25 + collaborations justify at least 2x their current cap. The ZW49 would need some time to develop. The good news – AE are low
    In such cases I recomend to my friends to buy at this low price and sell covered call.
    At today Feb 3 price ZEME is about 37.80. JULY 40 call is 9 ( a bit below the mid point of bid-ask 7.60 to 10.90.
    If you buy 100 shares and sell one contract you are effevtivly buing ZYME at 28.80.
    If in JULY ZYME $40, you realize 39% gain ((40-29.80)/28.80 = 39%) and keep your original (core position) assuming you have one along with the additional covered call shares.

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  27. Something went wrong with the previous post. It was meant to be:

    If in July ZYME is below $40, you keep the call premium (9/28.8 = 31%), and keep the shares. You can resell the calls agains your “call shares” again and again and again. Something like semi-annual dividend of about 30%.
    If in JULY ZYME is above $40, you realize 39% gain (40/28.80 -1 = 39%), keep the premium and keep your original (core position) assuming you have one.
    In general, it’s a low risk approach: making money in virtually all markets: shares moving up, moving down, moving sideways.
    In the ZYME case, I have 2000 shares core position and 1000 covered call shares at different expiration dates. Some of the covered shares I resold already 4 to 5 times in the last 2 years.

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  28. If anyone is following Abeona (ABEO) they are announcing that abstracts will be presented for their ABO-101 and ABO-102 programs on February 12.

    https://investors.abeonatherapeutics.com/press-releases/detail/195/abeona-therapeutics-announces-acceptance-of-late-breaker

    I believe some here were critical of their last financial raise, but they have quite a bit of cash and a good quick ratio and stock price has come back since last September.

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  29. In my previous post on 17/12, I brought to attention AKBA as an interesting opportunity in the CKD area with their drug Vadadustat. Since then it has gone up almost 100% and is still far from its potential. Market cap still low .

    The safety issue raised a few months ago appear to be over blown, and Vadadustat which is already approved and marketed in Japan , is on track for very near NDA submission.

    Worth giving a look!!

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  30. Check IMCR – recent IPO at 43+. Currently above 50 but stil grossly undervalued due to the best TCRs.
    Their current F1 is imprecise document!. Will be a monster stock for the years to come. They check all boxes to buy and forget investing ala Ohad – groundbreaking technology, advanced pipeline, 100s of targets, technology leader…

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  31. Hello guys
    what do you think on buying BLUE ?
    From my limited understanding, there is no correlation between lentiviral vector
    and (MDS) or (AML), what are your thoughts?
    Thanks

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