The Day In Biotech Stocks (January 15, 2008) (DNA, DNDN, GENZ, TTHI, LCBM, CEGE, GPCB, CGEN)

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Today was a brutal day for risk stocks, and biotechs are often thought of as risky to stocks as Russian Roulette is to your head.  But Biotechs are also a source of safety IF they are winners, and you could in theory have a market down 30% and see a small biotech run up exponentially if it has a major development in a drug candidate.  In short, there’s always action in this sector.  It survives democrats and republicans, bull markets and bear markets, and growth versus defense (and vise versa).

Unfortunately, Genetech fell 1.44% to $69.62 after it beat earnings Monday and reiterated its 2008 guidance.  Unfortunately it also missed sales estimates on ALL of its top four drugs.

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) was a safety net, as we noted that the E.U. may come to its aid.  It was granted a method patent for its PROVENGE for prostate cancer (and another patent).  That is after a large gain yesterday too.  DNDN rose 4.2% to $6.73.

Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) saw S&P actually Raise its corporate debtrating based on its solid operating performance, varied portfolio, and its strong pipeline.  S&P’s raised the rating to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB,’ and this is that much stronger in a "investment grade rating" for corporations.  GENZ fell 0.2% in regular trading and rose 0.2% to $78.68 after the news.

Transition Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TTHI) rose 10% to $12.10 on a whopping 49,582 shares, yet not official news was out.  We don’t even have any options data on it.

Lifecore Bio (NASDAQ: LCBM) rose a whopping 30% today to $16.76 because Warburg Pincus is acquiring the stock for $17.00 per share.  It traded some 3.4 million shares.

Cell Genesys (NASDAQ:CEGE) rose some 6% to $2.24 after it filed its financial report (on Edgar), but this is one day after its press release of "Interim Analysis Supports Continuation of Cell Genesys’ VITAL-1 Phase 3 Clinical Trial of GVAX Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer" that was out yesterday.

GPC Biotech AG (NASDAQ: GPCB) fell by 16.9% down to $2.99, although we didn’t see any direct news on this biotech implosion.  Its trading range is (was) $3.25 to $37.79, ouch.

Compugen (NASDAQ: CGEN) rose $0.32 or almost 16% to $2.33, and it was up even further than that in after-hours trading.  The company didn’t have any news today of its own but yesterday morning it did announce a GPCR Ligand Discovery and License Option Agreement With Merck that had it up big yesterday.

Jon C. Ogg
January 15, 2008